A Simple Side Dish of Roasted Carrots and Asparagus in Pesto Sauce
My wife is out in Utah visiting my youngest daughter so I haven't been cooking as much as when she is home. I needed a quick meal so I came up with this tofu dish and served it with roasted carrots and asparagus in pesto sauce.
Like many Americans, my cholesterol is a little high and my primary care doctor is constantly telling me to try and lower it. So I'm trying to eat less red meat and more fish and chicken and now and again, a little tofu.
Tofu is a great conduit for sauces. Tofu itself doesn't have a ton of flavor but if prepared properly (I'll be researching and writing about this soon) and served with a great sauce, it is very delicious and nutritious. I'm hoping to incorporate more tofu in my diet and come up with some creative ways to serve it.
A Great Side Dish
I needed a side dish to serve with the roasted tofu so I looked in the refrigerator and found some carrots and asparagus. Two great ingredients and I like the way the yellow and green contrast in color.
So I peeled the carrots and cut them on a diagonal, also called on the bias. I then snapped the ends off the asparagus and cut them up into 2 inch pieces.
After coating the veggies in oil and seasoning them with salt and pepper, I roasted them for 14 minutes. Took them out of the oven and transferred them to a bowl where I added a couple spoonfuls of pesto sauce.
That's it, couldn't be easier.
If you are in basil season and you have the time, try making your own pesto at home. It's easy to do and the results are incredible. Saying that, there are lots of good commercial pesto products on the market.
We like the Kirkland Brand you find at Costco. We always have a jar of it in the fridge for those nights we don't feel like cooking and add some to a bowl of pasta for an instant dinner. And there are so many recipes you can make in short order if you have some stocked.
Create Your Own
I used carrots and asparagus but depending on what you have lying around in your vegetable drawer in your refrigerator, you can make up your own recipe. The key is roasting them first. Roasting (dry heat cooking) brings out the natural sugars in vegetables resulting in a wonderful addition of flavor.
Roasting also uses less oil thus reducing extra calories and crisps up the vegetables giving them a fantastic texture.
Roasted Carrots and Asparagus with Pesto Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Prep the carrots and asparagus by peeling the carrots and cutting them on the diagional. Break off the bottom of the asparagus stalk. It's a bit tough and doesn't have that much flavor.
- Transfer the carrots and aspargus to a bowl, drizzle a little olive oil on top and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat well.
- Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil, then transfer the vegetables to the pan. Roast at 400°F for about 12 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Don't let them burn.
- Transfer the carrots and asparagus back to the bowl you origionally used and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of pesto sauce.
- Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- There you have it.