Roasted cauliflower has been so popular over the past couple of years and roasting seems to add a buttery flavor without much additional fat. Cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies and by adding a mixture of walnuts, mint and basil it becomes a truly delightful dish. Regular pesto is made with basil leaves, but I added mint for extra freshness. You can serve this as a side salad, room temperature or cold. I think it goes great with grilled fish, chicken or beef and it is especially nice on a picnic with sandwiches or burgers.
1 head cauliflower
5 sprigs fresh mint
5 sprigs fresh basil
1 cup walnuts
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash your cauliflower and cut up into florets.
2. Drizzle a sheet pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss your florets. Salt and pepper the cauliflower. Place your cauliflower in the oven to roast for 25-35 minutes, or until golden in color.
3. While the cauliflower is roasting, toast your walnuts in a saute pan over medium heat, about 4 minutes.
4. Place the toasted walnuts in a food processor.
5. Strip the mint and basil leaves from the stems and place them in the food processor with the walnuts.
6. Pulse the food processor 10 times or until the nuts and herbs resemble coarse crumbs.
7. Slice the garlic clove and add it to the food processor along with the parmesan cheese and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
8. Turn the food processor on and through the feed tube, add 1/2 cup of olive oil. The mixture should be a rough paste consistency.
9. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and place in a bowl. Dollop a few tablespoons of fresh walnut pesto on top and toss to coat. You want to toss the cauliflower while it is warm, so the pesto flavors absorb into the cauliflower.
10. Place the cauliflower in a bowl to serve or store for up to 3 days in the refrigerator for later use. You can use the leftover pesto to toss with pasta, spread on bread for sandwiches or toss with other grilled veggies. Enjoy!