I made this roast vegetables with peso halloumi because sometimes I just can’t be bothered with standing around and cooking yet I really want something tasty. This is particularly pronounced at the moment because it feels like all I’ve been doing since March the 13th is cook meals. Quite frankly I’m exhausted. We’ve been fortunate because we have the incredible Railway Tavern in Aby across the field for the occasional meal and the rather fabulous Claythorpe Watermill for amazing homemade pizzas, all within walking distance (or I should say, staggering home distance!) and we’ve been taking advantage of these more frequently lately but I still have to be careful about being surrounded by too many folk and so this really means more meals at home.
So this is why I love this roast veg dish. It’s simple. So easy to assemble (the oven does all the work) and super-tasty. I’ve included a homemade pesto but to be honest a shop bought one would work just as well. I served this with a pesto mayonnaise which was essentially a couple of tablespoons of mayo with a teaspoon of pesto mixed in. It was the perfect accompaniment.
The other thing I love about this dish is that it’s a ‘use any veg you love’ kinda dish. I had potatoes, carrots and homegrown beetroot but you can really go for whatever you like. This dish served 2 hungry grown men but I’m sure you could stretch it to 4 people… oh who am I kidding? One teeny thing, if you’ve never eaten or roasted beetroot before then you are in for a treat, it’s such an incredible experience!
- 1/2 large white onion – cut into wedges
- 1 carrot – cut into wedges (don’t bother peeling, life is too short)
- 3 beetroots – cut into quarters, again, don’t bother peeling them!
- 5 potatoes – cut into wedges
- 1 courgette – cut into wedges
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 2 sprigs of oregano
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 packet of halloumi cheese – cut into thick sliced and halved
- pesto (see below for recipe)
for the pesto
- 100g pine nuts (I actually used a mix of pine and cashew nuts, walnuts also work well here.)
- a large bunch of fresh basil – you really want an equal balance visually of pesto and nuts
- 1 clove of garlic (add more if you like)
- 50g fresh hard cheese (parmesan is traditional but I used strong cheddar)
- 75ml of olive oil (this is a rough estimate, you want a smooth but liquid pesto and there are many variables to how it can turn out, so keep the oil handy)
Pre-heat your oven to 180C – you will need a large roasting tin
Lay all your chopped veg into the roasting tin, douse generously with olive oil, season well with the herbs and spices and then smoosh it all around with your hands.
Cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Then remove from the oven, keep the foil on. I always do this bit in advance. (Can be done in the morning or even the night before you’re going to eat.) It makes life easier plus it gives you more breathing space in the kitchen.
Make the pesto by either opening a jar of shop bought or whizzing all the ingredients up in a blender until you have a smoothish liquid, you may need more oil. It will look quite rustic but taste incredible!
45 mins before you want to cook, reheat the oven to 200, remove the foil and roast in the oven for 25 mins. Carefully remove from the oven and spoon some pesto in random spots over the veg, then lay the cheese randomly over the veg and spot some more halloumi over the top. Roast for a final 20 mins or until the halloumi is beginning to turn golden.
Serve with a little pest mayo by combining 2 tablespoons of mayo with 1 teaspoon of pesto
Eat and of course, enjoy!