Hey Pesto: Roasted vegetables and chickpeas with herby pesto rice


The pesto brown rice nestled below this roasted vegetable medley, is a healthy, light alternative to pasta. It’s not just a vegan delight, it’s gluten free to boot. As a midweek meal it’s a winner.


Serves:          4

Prep time:     10 minutes

Cook time:    30 minutes 



  • 2 red onions, cut into chunky wedges

  • 4 red sweet pointed peppers, cut in the batons

  • 3 courgettes (about 600g) cut into batons

  • 5 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

  • pinch of red dried chilli flakes

  • 8 sundried tomatoes chopped

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 180g brown basmati rice

  • 30g flat-leaf parsley

  • 85g cashew nuts

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 400g chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Heat the oven to 190C fan. Put the red onions, peppers and courgettes in a large roasting tray, toss in 2 tbsp olive oil. Grind the cumin, coriander and chilli flakes in a pestle and mortar, sprinkle over the veg, and season (you may need two tins). Pop in the oven and cook for 15 minutes until the veg is beginning to get tender.

  2. Meanwhile, cook the rice following the instructions. Whizz together the parsley, cashew nuts, remaining oil, the garlic and seasoning to make the pesto.

  3. After 15 minutes stir the balsamic vinegar, chickpeas and sundried tomatoes into the veg and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.

  4. Once the rice is cooked, drain and place in a heatproof serving dish. Fork the parsley pesto through the rice and top with the roasted veggies and serve.

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