Paula Roy: Whole Foods in Half the Time


Roasted Vegetables with Pesto and Crunchy Panko Topping

An easy, delicious way to get your family to eat more vegetables

by: Paula Roy
Roasted Vegetables with Pesto and Buttery Toasted Panko Bread Crumbs

When I am planning an everyday meal, I usually start with the veggies and the protein comes second; I find this is a great way to focus on the fresh stuff and eat a little less meat. My family loves vegetables prepared this way and it's great for picky eaters because once you've coated things with pesto and panko breadcrumbs, it can be hard to tell which vegetables are which! If needed, it's super easy to make this a vegan dish – check the instructions below. This recipe also happens to be one of my favourite ways to deal with an overcrowded refrigerator because you can swap in just about any vegetables you have on hand – I've used snow and sugar snap peas, cauliflower, and carrots in this dish and they all taste delicious prepared this way.  We really like basil and garlic pesto but your favourite kind would work just as well. You can even roast the vegetables on the barbeque in a grill pan if that’s easier for you, especially on a hot day. If you really want to make this dish pop, add a sprinkle of cider vinegar or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice then top with crunchy, buttery breadcrumbs just before serving.


Olive or canola oil
1 1/2 cups small new potatoes, cut in 3/4-inch pieces
Half a large Spanish onion, in 1 inch pieces
2 cups medium-sized broccoli florets
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 medium yellow or green zucchini, halved lengthwise then sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 red pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
8 – 10 button mushrooms, halved
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup pesto
2 tablespoons butter (substitute with canola or olive for vegan version)
2/3 cup panko (Japanese dry bread crumbs)
1 tbsp (approximately) cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice



   Preheat oven to 400F (or barbeque to medium, if using).

   Put the potatoes and onions in a large roasting pan (or divide between two smaller pans) and drizzle with about a tablespoon of oil and a little salt and pepper. Using two spoons or your hands, toss the potatoes and onions so they are evenly coated.

   Roast the potatoes and onions for 15 minutes, tossing once.

   While the potatoes and onions are cooking, prep all the other vegetables.

An easy, delicious way to get your family to eat more vegetables.

   When the potatoes and onions have had their 15 minute head start, add the other vegetables to the roasting pan(s) along with another drizzle of oil and a little salt and pepper. Toss well to coat.

   Cook for 20 – 25 minutes until all the vegetables are tender and potatoes are crispy on the outside.

   While vegetables are roasting, melt butter in a small frying pan. Add panko and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they breadcrumbs are golden brown. Transfer toasted panko to a bowl and set aside.

   Transfer the cooked vegetables to a serving bowl. Add pesto and toss to coat.

   When ready to serve, sprinkle with cider vinegar or lemon juice (if using) and top with breadcrumbs. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

An easy, delicious way to get your family to eat more vegetables.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

An easy, delicious way to get your family to eat more vegetables.

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