Roasted veg with chocolate picada
Picada is a Catalan-style pesto traditionally made from almonds, but here in this roasted veg with chocolate picada recipe we’ve used hazelnuts and pine nuts, with the addition of parsley and chocolate – the latter a surprise ingredient that adds a pleasing bitterness to the sauce. Bonus: it’s veggie, gluten-free and dairy-free!
Ingredients (serves 4)
½ butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1cm-thick half-moons
1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled and bruised
500g golden beetroot, trimmed, scrubbed and cut into wedges
50ml olive oil
Pinch of celery salt
For the picada
100g pine nuts
3 garlic cloves
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
175ml olive oil
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tbsp raw cacao powder, or to taste
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Put the prepared butternut squash, cauliflower, garlic and beetroot into a large roasting tray. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the celery salt and pepper, and mix, making sure that all the veggies are well coated. Bake, uncovered, for 40-50 minutes, or until golden brown and just cooked.
Meanwhile, make the picada. Put the hazelnuts, pine nuts and garlic into a food processor and pulse until you have a coarse texture. Tip the mixture into a bowl and mix in the parsley (reserving some to garnish), olive oil, sherry vinegar, lemon zest and juice, and cacao powder to taste.
To serve, put the roasted vegetables on a serving dish, sprinkle with the reserved parsley and drizzle with some of the picada, serving the remainder in a bowl. This pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.
Photography by Faith Mason.