Basil Pesto

There’s nothing more minimal than a side dish.  I usually don’t even bother with them because I gravitate toward one-pot meals like pastas, stews and soups.   But when I’m feeling overwhelmed or tired, the easiest dinner to pull together quickly is the classic divided plate I grew up with: the old standbys neatly arranged in triangular formation…meat, potato and vegetable.  These purple potatoes just jazz up the plate a little.

They don’t look like much sitting there in the store in the net bag, but boy when you get them home and slice them open they are pretty spectacular.

I halve the potatoes, drizzle them with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted them at 400 for about 30-35 minutes.  I give them a toss once or twice while they’re roasting.

I have a bad habit of buying fresh basil, and then leaving it in the plastic on the counter because I can’t figure out how to store it…it wilts when I put it in water, and just dies in the fridge.  So I procrastinate and often end up throwing it out.  Today I decided to take action and whiz it into pesto.

While the potatoes roast, take a bag or bunch of fresh basil and stuff it in a little food processor or blender.  Add a handful of walnuts, a handful of grated hard Italian cheese, the juice of a lemon and salt and pepper.  While the machine is running, drizzle in enough olive oil so the pesto has a loose consistency.  Scrape down the sides once or twice to get it all combined.  I left out the garlic and used extra lemon.  No particular reason, I just really wanted to taste the lemon.

When the potatoes are tender and browned, toss them with a good dollop of pesto.  (You’ll have plenty  leftover for pasta) Now you’ve got a pretty side dish that has an intense bright flavor, and when your side dish is this lively, you can pair it with something super simple, like a beautiful piece of pink salmon, a lemony roast chicken breast or slices of pork tenderloin.

Happy Monday!

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18 Responses to Minimal Monday: Roasted Purple Potatoes with Pesto

  1. […] grown to adore Purple Potatoes. I found this Yummy recipe on Pinterest [ Purple Potatoes with pesto ] […]

  2. BeetleBuggy says:

    Wow! I love how you paired the roasted potatoes with a lemony pesto. Great combo, I must say!

  3. I’m sure this is delicious, but my favorite part of this is that beautiful purple color next to that green. Love that combo.

  4. What’s with the purple potatoes? I’m seeing them everywhere this year, including my own grocery store. I never noticed them in previous years–are they new?

  5. grace says:

    i appreciate plain potatoes, but purple potatoes are probably the prettiest piece of produce i’ve ever seen. lovely!

  6. Magnolia Verandah says:

    This is just what has happened to my basil and other herbs in the past. I now grow my own but always manage to cut too much and waste it. You have reminded me that this is the perfect answer – hey presto Pesto! Love it.

  7. tiffany rose says:

    Great idea to skip the garlic for extra lemon to change up the pesto. This dish would be nice for Mardi Gras.

  8. tiffany rose says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Laura says:

    Gorgeous! Love purple potatoes.

  10. These two color combinations just pop! I love it! This would be such a delicious mid-week lunch for me.

  11. Barbara says:

    Those potatoes are so pretty, aren’t they? Great idea to pair them with pesto, Sue. Looks delish.

    Re your thin mints: a couple years ago I made a white chocolate covered chocolate mint cookie for the holidays. Found the recipe in Martha Stewart’s Living. Frankly, the cookies were so delicious that I nearly ate them all before I even frosted them! Bet the same thing happened to you!

  12. Just gorgeous – simple and with tons of flavor – I made parsley pesto the other day – fun!
    Mary x

  13. Kate says:

    I like the extra lemon in the pesto for the potatoes. Reminds me of my lemon roasted potatoes with fresh herbs. Always fun to sit in your kitchen!
    Thanks, Sue.

  14. Ay?e says:

    what a colourful lovely dish! I like it!

  15. I’ve never had purple potatoes that were that purple. Jealous!

  16. DaniBP says:

    What a gorgeous recipe. Thanks for sharing, I love those blue taters.

  17. Love purple potatoes…adore pesto…this is a no-brainer. Want some :D

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