Roast Veg, Basil Walnut Pesto and Buffalo Mozzarella

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I made this at my friend Roxy's house this week and I wanted to make us a delicious lunch but I think this is also great for a midweek dinner.  If you roast the veg the night before this could be a wonderful one to take to work.  The pesto is also great with roast chicken or simply spread on some toasted rye bread.

Ingredients:

1 ball buffalo mozzarella (200g)

1 medium aubergine, sliced lengthways into 1cm pieces

100g cherry tomatoes, halved

3 medium carrots, sliced into thin sticks

1 leek, roughly sliced

1 medium courgette, thinly sliced

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

 

For the basil walnut pesto:

Large handful of fresh basil

100g walnuts, toasted and half crushed

Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp honey (raw is possible)

1 small garlic clove, diced

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line two baking trays with baking parchment.  In a bowl add the chopped courgette, leek, tomatoes, carrots and mix with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Tip everything into one of the trays and place into the oven for 40-45 minutes.

For the aubergine pieces, sprinkle over with salt and leave for 5-10 minutes.  Use kitchen towel to dap away the excess water and then turn pieces over and salt the other side.  Dab off the water again and try to dust off all the salt.  Add two more tablespoons of olive oil and spread them out on the second tray.  Roast for 35 minutes until golden.

For the pesto, add all the ingredients leaving out half of the walnuts and pulse-blend to form a rough paste.  Check the seasoning and crumble in the remaining walnuts.  Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nina ParkerComment