Recipe | Roast potatoes, cherry tomatoes & sprouting broccoli with caper pesto

Recipe and words extracted from Motherfood: The Science, Art and Practice of Nourishing Maternal Foodways by Vanessa A. Clarkson

This is an unapologetically simple tray of roast potatoes dressed up with a vibrant pesto. I like to serve this as a side but if you’d like to make it more substantial, add some steamed green beans, pudgy butter beans or halved, soft- or hard-boiled eggs – there should be enough pesto to entertain any extra ingredients you like.

50 minutes
Serves 4
Gluten free


800 g (3 cups, about 4-5) potatoes, scrubbed and cubed extra-virgin olive oil

500 g (2 cups, 2 punnets) cherry tomatoes, halved

1 bunch of sprouting broccoli, thick stalks halved lengthways

For the pesto

40 g (¼ cup) pine nuts

3 large handfuls of fresh basil leaves 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon salted capers, soaked and drained (see note) juice of 1 small lemon

1 clove garlic, minced ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 200°C

Spread the potatoes out in a roasting dish. Drizzle well with olive oil and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, add the cherry tomatoes and broccoli, drizzle with more olive oil and mix well. Return the dish to the oven and cook until potato is browned and cooked through, the tomatoes are soft and the broccoli slightly charred, about 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the pesto, begin by dry toasting the pine nuts briefly in a frying pan. Add these to the bowl attachment of a hand-held blender with the basil, olive oil, capers, lemon juice and garlic and season well with black pepper. Process into a thick paste, adding more oil if needed. Stir this into the vegetables when they are cooked through.

NOTE: Capers can be bought salted or in vinegar. The latter can be quite acidic, so I use salted here. To reduce their saltiness, soak the capers in warm water and drain. You may need to repeat this a couple of times until they don’t taste salty anymore.

More recipes by Vanessa A. Clarkson:

Lemony Broccoli, Pea and Ginger Brown Rich with Toasted Cashews and Sticky Sultanas

Pumpkin Farrotto with Crispy Shredded Kale and Sage

Recipe extracted from Motherfood by Vanessa A. Clarkson

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