Although I love pesto because it is so versatile and flavoursome, low carb and can be made with whole foods, I am aware of the high calorie content. I am always trying to reduce the calorie content while still keeping the flavour and texture through the use of ingredients like cannellini beans, ricotta or feta cheese and even frozen peas. Last night I tried something different and included roasted cauliflower along with roasted beetroot. It turned out really well. The texture and flavour were great. It was so tasty I ended up using it as a salad dressing on a simple massaged kale salad with mushrooms and tomatoes roasted in balsamic vinegar. Tonight I may have it smothered on some chicken. And, as with most of my recipes, it was simple to make. The most annoying part is the peeling of the roasted beetroot due to the mess created, but I found that if you roast the beetroot wrapped in foil with the skin on, open the foil once the beetroot is tender and allow it to cool briefly then peel the beetroot whilst it is still sitting on the foil, you can reduce the mess.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups of pesto
1 medium to large beetroot
¼ head of cauliflower
1 clove garlic
½ cup walnuts
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Small baking tray (non-stick or lined with baking paper)
Measuring cups and spoons
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the stems off the beetroot and wrap the whole beetroot in foil. Roast the beetroot for about 45 minutes or until it is tender.
- Meanwhile, chop the cauliflower into small florets. Spread the cauliflower florets out onto a baking tray (non-stick or lined with baking paper). Roughly chop the garlic clove and spread this among the cauliflower. Season the cauliflower and garlic with salt and pepper and roast for about 40 minutes or until the cauliflower is golden brown and tender.
- Once the beetroot is roasted remove it from the foil (or for easier clean up leaving it sitting on the foil), allow to cool briefly and peel the beetroot. Roughly chop the beetroot and add it to the food processor. Pulse briefly to roughly chop it.
- Add in the roasted cauliflower and garlic, walnuts, balsamic vinegar and extra salt and pepper to taste. Process the pesto until a fairly smooth consistency is achieved (about 4 – 5 minutes). Some chunks will remain.