I lived off pesto at university, but I wish someone had told me you could use it for more than just pesto pasta!
This fuss-free traybake only uses a teaspoon of sun-dried tomato pesto with some cheap dried herbs and tins to add tons of flavour to a tray of healthy roasted veggies. It also uses up a couple of slices of stale sourdough to make some crunchy croutons – you could use whatever bread you have going spare.
I first shared this recipe with Cardiff University as part of their ‘Recipes for Success’ – a series of recipes from alumni now working in the food and drink industry.
- 1 x 400g tin chickpeas
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 small aubergine
- 1 medium courgette
- 1 white onion
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried parsley
- 1 large tsp sun dried tomato pesto
- 2 slices of stale bread (sourdough works best but you can use whatever you have)
- A few generous glugs of olive oil
- Sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper
- 30g parmesan cheese (optional)
- A few sprigs of fresh basil (optional)
- Heat a fan oven to 220 degrees. Chop the aubergine, courgette and onion into small cubes of a similar size, and transfer to a large baking dish – the bigger the better.
- Drain the chickpeas and throw them into the same tray.
- Add all of the dried herbs, and season with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle everything in the tray with a generous glug of olive oil, then mix everything together to ensure an even coating of oil and dried herbs on everything in the tray.
- Pop into the oven to roast for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, tear or chop the stale bread into similar sized chunks.
- Drizzle the bread chunks with olive oil and season with black pepper, before covering with a light sprinkling of grated parmesan. For garlic croutons, you could use ½ tsp garlic powder instead.
- Pop the bread chunks in the oven for 10 minutes.
- After the bread has been in for 10 minutes, take out the veg tray, and add the croutons, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a generous teaspoon of tomato pesto, and the juice of half a lemon. Give everything a stir to mix everything together.
- Return the tray to the oven for 10 more minutes.
- When ready to serve, spoon into bowls and top with grated parmesan, freshly cracked black pepper, and a scattering of fresh basil.
- You want the chickpeas to get a little crispy and the veg to caramelise a little in the first 20 mins – if they need a bit longer than 20 mins in the oven, don’t be afraid to wait before adding the wet ingredients. Alternatively, if the pan gets a little dry, just add a little water.
- To make this recipe vegan, use a vegan pesto and omit the parmesan on the croutons and when serving.
- You can experiment with using different types of pesto, changing up the mix of herbs and spices; try swapping the tsp of pesto for a few chunks of spicy chorizo and a tsp of smoked paprika, then scatter with fresh parsley to serve.
- Add diced potatoes to the traybake if you are feeling really hungry!