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Carrot & Walnut Pesto w/ Baked Vegetables and Vegeroni

March 18, 2011

Carrot & Walnut Pesto w/ Baked Vegetables and Vegeroni

Recently I rediscovered a great little book from the 1970’s that I inherited from my beloved grandparents. Eydie Mae’s Natural Recipes for the Living Foods Gourmet is a wonderful healthy recipe book crammed with simple and creative raw recipes and I’ve been getting a little excited about all the healthy and delicious combinations.

The heath benefits of eating raw foods are obvious and while this dish is not a raw dish it does benefit from including raw carrots which are one vitamin and mineral packed little veggie! The carrot is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, high in dietary fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate and manganese and raw carrot contains beta-carotene, a strong antioxidant that can help prevent cancer. Good for your skin, your digestive system and your overall health carrots are super healthy and super tasty too.

The ‘pesto’ is easy to prepare in a food processor and with the addition of dry roasted nuts and spices is super delicious. The recipe below makes a double batch of the pesto which means you’ll have enough leftover to enjoy in a sandwich, with crackers or like we did here in a fresh salad wrap. Combined with the tasty baked vegetables and tossed through warm pasta this vegetarian recipe is a wonderful way to enjoy lots of healthy vegetables in one dish. Served warm it makes a great pasta dish or try serving cold for a colourful and delicious pasta salad the whole family will enjoy.

Carrot & Walnut Pesto w/ Baked Vegetables and Vegeroni

Preparation time: 45mins // Serves 4

Carrot & Walnut Pesto

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  • 4 cups grated carrot (approx 4 carrots)
  • 100g (3½oz) walnuts
  • 60g (2oz) raw almonds
  • 1 tsp za’atar spice mix [or use any combination of spices you like, try sesame seeds, cumin, turmeric and/or sumac]
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs tahina
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juice only

Dry roast the nuts and spice mix in a frying pan over a medium/low heat for 4-5 minutes tossing frequently until they are golden, being careful not to burn them, allow to cool.

Combine the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, tahina and lemon juice together in a small bowl.

Add the grated carrot and dry roasted nuts and spices to a food processor and process until well combined, adding the apple cider vinegar mixture as you continue to process until the carrot and nuts form a fine pesto like mixture, set aside.

Carrot & Walnut Pesto w/ Baked Vegetables and Vegeroni

  • 1½ tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 470g (16½oz) vegetables, diced into 3cm (1½ inch) cubes [we used pumpkin, zucchini & capsicum]
  • ½ the prepared Carrot & Walnut Pesto [head over to Veggie num num’s flickr for an idea on how to use the remaining carrot pesto]
  • 375g (13oz) vegeroni (or any small shell like) pasta

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/392°F

In a large bowl combine the diced vegetables with the olive oil and sumac and toss until well coated. Transfer the vegetables onto a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until vegetables are soft and edges golden. Remove from the oven a set aside.

Meanwhile cook the pasta to the packet instructions, drain well and set aside.

In a large bowl toss the carrot pesto through the warm pasta until evenly combined, add the baked vegetables and gently toss through.

Either serve warm as a great healthy pasta recipe or cold for a delicious bowl of pasta salad perfect for your lunchbox.

Carrot & Walnut Pesto w/ Baked Vegetables and Vegeroni

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  • rosanna March 18, 2011 at 7:47 am

    I have completely fallen in love with this pesto. I’ve just printed the recipe, I have to try it tomorrow. Terrific!

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen March 18, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    What a unique pesto, I would have never thought of making pesto with carrots, but it sounds delicious. I love the way you’ve combined it with the baked vegetables and pasta, this sounds like a very nutritious and filling meal.

  • chow vegan March 21, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Yum! Looks delicious! what a great idea to make pesto with carrots! Can’t wait to try it! :-)

  • pb March 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Great idea..the carrot really ups the nutrition value here :)

  • Charissa March 23, 2011 at 2:44 am

    Oh, I love this idea so much. But what, may I ask, is sumac?

  • Trudy ~ Veggie num num March 23, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Thanks for the comments everyone… this dish is a little unusual but both Cam and I really enjoyed it and I hope you do too :)

    Hi Charissa, sumac is a Middle Eastern spice that has a lovely lemony/tangy flavour and is perfect as a seasoning for vegetables. You should be able to find it in your supermarket in the spice section, we picked some up from a spice seller at our local farmers markets so try something like that if you don’t have any luck :)

  • Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul March 24, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I love everything you post on this blog. Really, I truly do!
    Carrot and walnut pesto, mmMmmm!
    I just found a recipe for “sweet potato butter”, which is pretty much a sweet potato and tahini paste. Your ideas for using the left over pesto have inspired me to use the “butter” in a salad wrap with fresh veggies and maybe some baked tempeh : ) But I’ll make that after I make this!

  • Trudy ~ Veggie num num March 25, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Thanks so much Jenne!! And yum! Sweet Potato Butter, sounds super good especially with baked tempeh!!

  • Rachel April 1, 2011 at 6:26 am

    I love this recipe! I tossed my pesto in some garlicy chili wholemeal spaghetti and it was delicious! and it did make a great wrap the next day 😀

  • Trudy ~ Veggie num num April 1, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Yay! Sounds delish Rachel!! Thanks for the feedback!!