A late summer salad of roast red peppers, parsnips and chickpeas with a garlic and parsley pesto
September 10, 2010
We’re into September and it’s that in-between time vegwise. There are still lots of courgettes, tomatoes and peppers around but the earthier varieties are starting to appear. New season carrots, butternuts and this week parsnips. The weather’s a bit in-betweeny aswell. One minute splitting the stones, the next blustery with showers. You don’t know whether to fire up the barbecue or make soup! I’m not ready for soup, it’d be like admitting what’s to come and I’m still in denial.
This week’s salad is with ramiro pepper (soon to be a thing of seasons past) and parsnips (a definite taste of things to come). I roasted both then tossed them with chickpeas and added a dash of vinegar to give a little bite to all that sweetness. The pesto with some parsley, garlic and pinenuts was really just a kind of a kind of chunky dressing. I ate mine with cous cous but I think rice would work and it’s a dish that’s crying out to be served with lamb……..
A salad of roast parsnips, red peppers and chickpeas with a garlic and parsley pesto
1 red pepper (ramiro or bell)
1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
A handful chickpeas (about 100gr)
Red wine vinegar
A large handful parsley destemmed and roughly chopped
1 fat clove garlic roughly chopped
8(ish) tablespoons olive oil
1 heaped tablespoon pinenuts
A generous pinch Maldon salt crushed
Begin by slicing the pepper into strips. Toss them into a roasting dish with some olive oil and then into a medium oven (Gas mark 5) for about 30 minutes. Peel the parsnips and cut to the size of chunky chips. Bring to the boil, drain then toss in olive oil in a second dish along with the cumin. Put the parsnips into the oven alongside the peppers. Roast the lot for another half an hour. You can get on with the pesto by either blasting all the ingredients in a small blender or pounding everything with a morter and pestle.You don’t want it too smooth so doing it by hand works well.
When the 30 minutes are up check the veg. The peppers will definitely be ready but if the parsnips haven’t changed colour give them a few more minutes to turn a nice golden brown. When they’re ready toss with the peppers and chickpeas. Dress with some crushed Maldon and a little red wine vinegar. You don’t need oil as there’s already some on them from the roasting.
To serve either mix the pesto through the salad or serve it alongside as I did.