Brinjal (Aubergine/Eggplant) Walnut Pesto and Butternut Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes

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Spiralized Butternut Spaghetti……finally !!!!  Do you know how long I have wanted to do a Butternut Spaghetti meal? Well, let’s just say…a l-o-n-g time ! and, you are going to love this one….

Firstly, it is incredibly easy.  Secondly, it is extremely tasty, and…Thirdly, you just need to make this.

This pesto, is my everything right now. I mean,who would have thought that a brinjal (sorry I am using the name I use for it here in this country) pesto would be so incredible awesome?….. Me !  because I love nuts and anything with nuts IS awesome !!! By the way, if you don’t have walnuts, I am sure any nut will be equally as great…it is just that I had ….Ummmmm…a fair amount of walnuts, so walnuts have been going into EVERYTHING 🙂

So, here goes.

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Brinjal (Aubergine/Eggplant) Walnut Pesto and Butternut Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  25 – 30 minutes

Total time:  40 – 45 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the pesto:  

1 medium-sized (approximately 400 grams) brinjal (Aubergine/Eggplant)

6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 teaspoons white vinegar or white wine vinegar

1/2 – 1 cup of dry toasted walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup packed basil leaves, chopped

1 – 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (depending on size)

salt and pepper to taste

Makes  just over one  cup of Pesto 

approximately 800 – 900 grams uncooked spiralized butternut spaghetti (for the best results, please use the largest, thickest blade you have on your spiralizer).

approximately 350 grams tomatoes of your choice (I used exotic tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, cut in half).

Instructions:

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

To make the Pesto:  Cut the brinjal in half, lightly drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the brinjal in the heated oven and roast for about 25/30 minutes or until done. Then remove from the oven.  Scoop out the insides and discard the skin. Allow to cool. Place the cooled flesh of the brinjal into a food processor and add all the other ingredients.  Process until the consistency you like and taste and add more salt or pepper if necessary. If you find that you would like a thinner consistency, by all means add another tablespoon or two of olive oil .

In the meantime, place the spiralized butternut onto a couple of baking sheets. You may want to just get a knife and cut the spiralized butternut pieces a little shorter (mine were massively long) so it’s more edible. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mine took about 8 minutes till it was firm but done. (Try not cook the butternut until it is too soft, as it will just mash up and break when tossing through the pesto.) When done, set aside and keep warm.

Whilst the butternut spaghetti is in the oven roasting, dry toast the walnuts, and roast your tomatoes.

To dry toast the walnuts:  This you do by just adding the dry walnuts to a small frying pan and frequently toss with a wooden spoon.  You do not add any oil to these, as nuts have their own natural oils. Continue to toast until slightly fragrant, and then remove from the stove and set aside.

To roast the tomatoes:  Place the tomatoes (cut side down if you cut them in half) on a baking sheet, drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the pre-heated oven and allow to roast till the tomatoes pop oven and look a bit wrinkled.

Once everything is done, serve hot.  Add more cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves for garnish.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  For the pesto: If you do not have a food processor and will be using a blender, you may want to use a pestle and mortar and break the nuts up more.

Also, quantities do not have to be the same and can vary. (That is what I like about pesto’s, you can make it your own)

 

Roasted Veggie Bowl

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All health people ! All health :-). Just a bunch of goodness and heaven, all in a bowl.

I personally love textures, so have included a variety, just to add to the deliciousness.  I mean, why not?  I have also added colours :-), colours just make it all just look so appetising, don’t you think?.

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I figured this bowl of veggies would probably need a sauce of sorts, but I really could not decide on one.  So, for this particular meal I did, I just played it safe with a light white cheese  sauce (yes, there I go again…cheese, sorry I just could not help it, I mean, what is a girl to do, when cheese is just so…..good!).

These veggies would be great with any sauce I am sure, so knock yourself out and do whatever sauce floats your boat. 🙂

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Roasted Veggie Bowl

Chickpeas, cooked

Butternut, cut into cubes

Kale, cut of stems

Brinjal (Aubergine, Eggplant), peeled and cut into cubes

Red Pepper, de-seeded and cut into large strips

Snap Peas

Baby Corn on cob

Cheese Sauce (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chickpeas – place cooked chickpeas on a baking tray, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, dried origanum and thyme, toss around so all the chickpeas are well coated.  Place in the oven and about 10/15 minutes later, toss and turn them around. Return them to the oven for a further 15 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven.

Butternut – place chopped butternut on a baking tray and drizzle well with extra virgin olive oil.  Salt and Pepper well.  You can even add some herbs if you like, and place in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes.  Remove once done.

Kale – massage the cut kale leaves, and place on baking tray, with salt and pepper and a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil.  Do not over oil the kale, rather have too little than too much.  Place in oven, watch carefully as the kale cooks quickly.  Once crisp, take out of the oven.

Brinjal (Aubergine, Eggplant) –  Place on baking tray with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until cooked and remove from the oven.

Red Pepper – Place on baking tray with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven for about 10/15 minutes, then turn over and roast the opposite side of the pepper.  Watch carefully as peppers roast quickly. Remove from the oven once done.

Snap Peas and Baby Corn on the Cob – You can either saute’ them or steam them, whichever you prefer.  I love these veggies to be crunchy, so just heated them up slightly for a couple of seconds in the microwave before eating my bowl of veggies.

Cheese Sauce –  1/4 cup (25 gram) butter, 1/4 cup (25 gram) flour, 1 – 2 cups milk (you may require more so have a bit more handy, it all depends on the consistency that you want), a good handful (or more) grated cheese, salt and pepper to taste and a generous amount of nutmeg.

To make the Cheese Sauce:  On medium heat, in a small to medium-sized pot, add the butter. Once butter has melted, take it off the stove and add the flour, stir and mix flour in thoroughly with a wooden spoon.  The butter and flour will combine to a smooth consistency.  Then, put the pot back onto the stove, and over medium heat, gradually add the milk, stirring all the time.  Stir until the mixture becomes thick and smooth, then add a bit more milk, continue this until the sauce becomes the consistency you are wanting.  Then, add the grated cheese and continue to stir.  If you find that the sauce becomes thicker, add a little more milk until you are happy with the consistency.  Season well to taste with salt and pepper, and then the key ingredient….nutmeg 🙂 .

You may notice that if this sauce stands and gets cold, it will thicken even more.  You can then just heat it up on the stove and thin it out again with a little milk.

Once all the veggies are cooked to deliciousness, assemble in bowls, and top with sauce.

Enjoy 🙂

  •  I have not included quantities. This will depend on how many people you are  serving.
  •  Kale, I believe needs to be massaged, in order to help relieve some of the  bitterness.