crispy roasted potatoes topped with pesto & toasted hazelnuts
2 lbs multi-color fingerling potatoes
olive oil, salt and black pepper
roasted hazelnuts, chopped, for garnish
Hazelnut Rosemary Pesto
1 ½ oz fresh parsley (leaves and soft stems)
2 oz roasted hazelnuts
1 ½ oz grated pecorino romano cheese
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
¾ cup olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 425F. Wash and dry the potatoes. Split each in half lengthwise. Toss the potatoes in a large mixing bowl with a generous amount of olive oil, salt and black pepper. Make sure each potato is coated fully. Spread the potatoes out onto a baking sheet. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and slightly crisp.
In a food processor, add the parsley, roasted hazelnuts, cheese, garlic, and rosemary. Pulse until the mixture is course. Drizzle in the olive oil very slowly while the processor is on so the pesto comes together. Add the honey, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt. Process until fully incorporated. Reserve the pesto until the potatoes are done cooking.
When the potatoes are still hot, toss them with the pesto. Serve them on a plate or in a bowl. Spoon more pesto over top and garnish with the roasted hazelnuts.
To roast the hazelnuts, preheat your oven to 275F. Spread the hazelnuts out onto a baking sheet and roast for about 18-20 minutes. Transfer the hazelnuts when they are warm to a dish towel. Cover them and let them sit for a few minutes. Rub the hazelnuts in the towel so that the skins will fall off. Not all of the skin will come off, and that’s ok (there are lots of nutrients in the skin).
For the parsley, I started with one bunch. Holding it slightly raised in one hand with the leaves facing down, cut on a bias and rotate the parsley so that you end up with all of the leaves and soft stems. You don’t want the sturdy stems, but the soft ones are mild enough to blend up into the pesto (plus it saves you from picking off every leaf of parsley). Next soak the parsley in cold water to let any dirt fall to the bottom. Lastly, drain it and let it dry.
In the pesto, you want to use a plain olive oil, not extra-virgin olive oil. Extra-virgin is too bitter and will overpower the other flavors.