Roasted Purple Potatoes with Pesto

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Purple potatoes for Roasted Purple Potatoes with pesto

Roasted Purple Potatoes with Pesto ~ a no-recipe recipe for a colorful and healthy side dish!

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.

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  • Reply
    March 8, 2012 at 7:47 pm

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

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Highlands Ranch Foodie)
    March 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm

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

  • Reply
    Liza in Ann Arbor
    March 6, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    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?

  • Reply
    March 6, 2012 at 8:27 am

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

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    March 5, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    tiffany rose
    March 6, 2012 at 5:55 am

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

  • Reply
    tiffany rose
    March 6, 2012 at 5:55 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply
    March 6, 2012 at 3:32 am

    Gorgeous! Love purple potatoes.

  • Reply
    Jacquelyn Grandy
    March 6, 2012 at 2:14 am

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

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 6:43 pm


  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    March 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm

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

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    what a colourful lovely dish! I like it!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm

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

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 2:22 pm

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

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm

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