Parsley was once the curly green garnish I left on my plate when my Mom, Gram and I would eat lunch at the old Boscov’s in Wilkes-Barre. I would gleefully eat the whole lemon slices from everyone’s iced teas, but every time I’d take a nibble of the parsley (and I did try, each time), I couldn’t understand WHY it existed except to work up my then-budding OCD by being the only remaining thing on a clean plate.
These days, I am a total parsley convert. I always have it, and it’s notoriously the only plant I’ve been able to grow and keep alive for an entire season. I’m talking about the flat leaf, or Italian parsley – the curly kind is still quite bitter and leaves something to be desired.
A natural breath freshener thanks to some aromatic oils in the leaves, parsley is a health food, touting a good amount of Vitamin C among other notable benefits.
This past Saturday as I was squished up in bed flipping through the new Whole Living magazine (one of my all-time favorite publications), I found this simple recipe. The ingredients are minimal, and like me, you may have everything on hand already.
*The original recipe calls for orange sweet potatoes; I had white sweet potatoes on hand, but orange would be great and look pretty, too!
ROASTED SWEET POTATOES WITH PARSLEY WALNUT PESTO
- 3-4 sweet potatoes, cut into “fries”
- 7 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts (toast them if you’d like)
- zest of one lemon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put the sweet potatoes in a bowl (you may need to do this in two batches) and toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil, just enough to lightly coat, and season with salt and pepper. Put them on a rimmed baking sheet in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Turn once turing cook time. They will be tender and just starting to brown.
While the potatoes are in the oven, make the pesto. Blend the remaining ingredients in a food processor. You will need to stop and scrape down the sides of the processor once or twice to make sure everything is mixed through. Pesto will have somewhat of a chunky paste consistency.
Allow the potatoes to cool for a few minutes. Plate the potatoes, then use a spoon or brush to spread the pesto over them. The hot potatoes will melt the pesto a little. Mmmm.
You will likely have at least 1/2 cup of the pesto left over. Use it as a spread on sandwiches (it would be delicious mixed into some Vegenaise), tossed with pasta, or spread over more roasted veggies. Enjoy!