Roasted veg with chocolate picada

10 April 2017 by
First published: 17 April 2017

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
Black pepper

For the picada

150g hazelnuts
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.

Recipes taken from Kathy Kordalis’s Raw Chocolate, published by Kyle books.

Photography by Faith Mason.

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Roasted veg with chocolate picada
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