I don’t want to rub it in your faces, but here in New Orleans SPRING IS HERE! That means that I want a lot of bright, vibrant flavors.
These roasted potatoes with parsley pesto are about as vibrant as vibrant flavor gets. They’re a great side for grilled meats (because spring = grilling season!) or you can warm them up and top them with a soft boiled egg like I did for breakfast this morning. You could even stir in a bit of mayonnaise for a pesto potato salad type dish and serve it along side sandwiches. However you serve them, they’re a side dish that is seriously bursting with flavor thanks to the garlic, lemon, and Parmesan cheese.
I used my budget version of pesto for this recipe. Instead of fresh basil I used fresh parsley. Sure, the flavor is very different but it still gives it that nice pop of fresh green flavor. I also skipped the nuts and went light on the olive oil. The fresh garlic gives the pesto a really great spicy bite and the fresh lemon adds a tart zing. It’s a pretty bare bones version of pesto, but OMG, it still has tons of flavor! (you may want a breath mint afterwards, raw garlic can be harsh).
Parsley Pesto Potatoes
Parsley Pesto Potatoes
FOR THE POTATOES
- 3 lbs. small Yukon Gold potatoes ($2.29)
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil ($0.08)
- Salt & Pepper ($0.05)
FOR THE PESTO
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley ($0.75)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled ($0.16)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan ($0.82)
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, about 1/2 lemon ($0.35)
- 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
- 1 Tbsp water ($0.00)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the potatoes into one inch cubes. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and toss with the vegetable oil until well coated.
- Cover one or two baking sheets with foil and coat lightly with non-stick spray. Spread the potatoes out over the sheets so that they are in a single layer and not piled on top of one another (you may need two baking sheets if your sheets are smaller). Season lightly with salt and pepper, then roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the edges.
- Meanwhile, rinse the parsley with cool water and shake off as much excess water as possible. Tear the leaves from the stems and place them in the bowl of a food processor (it's okay if some of the stems get in, you don't have to be very precise). Also add the Parmesan, salt, lemon juice, and peeled garlic. Pulse the mixture until it is finely chopped.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and slowly add the olive oil through the chute while pulsing. Scrape down the sides again and add one tablespoon of water while pulsing. The pesto should be a thick, almost creamy texture at this point. Taste the pesto and adjust the oil, salt, and lemon according to your liking (depending on the size of your parsley bunch, you may need to adjust the other ingredients).
- Once the potatoes are golden brown and crispy, remove them from the oven and transfer them to a bowl. Serve the pesto spooned over top or toss the potatoes in the pesto until they are fully coated.
Step by Step Photos
Cut 3 lbs. of Yukon Gold potatoes into one inch cubes. You can use a different variety of potatoes, but I like the dense, waxy texture of Yukon Gold for this.
Toss the potatoes with 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil until they are well coated. Spread them out over a baking sheet that has been covered in foil and lightly coated with non-stick spray. Make sure the potatoes are not piled on top of one another. You may need two baking sheets if your sheets are on the smaller side. Even though the potatoes are coated in oil, that thin layer of non-stick spray really helps to keep them from sticking. Trust me. Season them lightly with salt and pepper (just sprinkle some on top, no measuring needed). Roast these potatoes in a preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.
While the potatoes are roasting, you can make the pesto. Rinse one bunch of flat leaf parsley, then shake off as much of the water as possible. Pull the leaves from the stems and place them in the bowl of a food processor (I use this one). You don’t have to be super picky about getting the leaves off of the stem – it’s okay if some stems make it in the bowl. Also add 1/2 cup Parmesan, 2 cloves of garlic (peeled), 2 Tbsp lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp salt.
Pulse that mixture until it is finely chopped. (OMG it looks so good already). Scrape down the sides with a spatula.
Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil through the chute as you pulse. I wanted my pesto a little bit runnier, so I also added a tablespoon of water. You can add more oil if you’d like, but this method kept the cost down a bit. It also produces a sharper, more pungent flavored pesto. Oil helps mellow the flavors some.
After 45 minutes, the potatoes will be golden brown and crispy on the edges. Transfer them to a bowl.
You can either serve the pesto spooned over top like this…
Or toss the potatoes until they’re fully coated in the pesto. I had some leftover pesto, but it DEFINITELY won’t go to waste. You can use it as a sandwich spread, add it to an individual pizza, or just dip some things (anything) in it!