Monday, October 20, 2008

Grill-Roasted Vegetables with Pine Nut Pesto

Unlike a lot of fruit lovers out there, I love Fall's bounty. To me, nothing beats root vegetables and preparing them can be easy. Better yet, prep can be delegated. So children, friends and spouses can join you in the kitchen. Every cook has a task they love to delegate. For me, it's deveining shrimp and shucking corn. I can't remember the last time I did either. Delegating aside, this recipe doesn't call for much but some good ol' peeling and chopping.

In addition, this recipe gives you the grill vs. roast option so chose whatever you like best. For me roasting is easier than breaking out my grill pan. You can also skip the pesto and buy store bought but making pesto is a snap and fresh is always better.

Grill-Roasted Vegetables with Pine Nut Pesto
  1. 1 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  2. 1 pound parsnips, cut into 1-inch pieces
  3. 1 pound brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
  4. One 2 1/2-pound butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-by-1 1/2-inch pieces
  5. 2 large shallots, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  6. 6 thyme sprigs
  7. 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  8. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  9. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  10. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  11. 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
  12. 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  1. In a large bowl, toss the carrots and parsnip pieces with the brussels sprouts, butternut squash, shallots, thyme sprigs and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat a gas grill to high heat (about 425°). Place 2 perforated grill pans directly on the grate to heat for about 10 minutes. Divide the vegetables between the grill pans and grill over high heat, stirring and turning occasionally, until they are tender and lightly charred in spots, about 50 minutes. Alternatively, roast the vegetables in a large roasting pan in a 425° oven, stirring them occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the pine nuts and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until they are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and garlic and cook, stirring, until the pine nuts are browned and the garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to a mini processor. Add the grated cheese and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and pulse to a chunky puree. Season the pine nut pesto with salt.
  4. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and toss with the pine nut pesto. Serve hot or warm.


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