GREEN RECIPES: Asparagus with Walnut-Orange Pesto and Cintronette . . . Vegetable Kebabs
By: Herald Staff and Wire Reports,
Asparagus with Walnut-Orange Pesto and Cintronette
2 pounds medium asparagus, thick ends snapped off
½ cup chopped walnuts
3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup plus ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly ground Pecorino Romano
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil in a large pasta pot. Set a large ice bath nearby.
When the water comes to a boil, add 2 tablespoons salt. Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook until just softened, 1 minute. Using tongs, transfer the asparagus to the ice bath. When it has cooled, drain and set aside.
To make the pesto, juice one of the oranges, removing any seeds, and set the juice aside for later. Chop what is left of the juiced orange — pith, rind, interior fruit and all — along with the remaining orange (again removing any seeds), and place the chopped orange in the bowl of a food processor. Add the walnuts, garlic, sugar, 1 cup of the olive oil and ¼ cup of the pecorino to the processor and blend until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a bowl, and season it with salt and pepper to taste. If it’s too thick, add up to ¼ cup of the reserved juice to loosen it up. (This pesto will last for 1 week in the refrigerator if the surface is covered with a layer of oil.)
To make the citronette, place the reserved orange juice and the remaining ¼ cup olive oil in a small bowl and whisk to form a thin emulsion.
Arrange the cooked asparagus on a serving platter, and spoon the walnut-orange pesto over the stems. Drizzle the orange citronette over all. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons pecorino, and serve.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10 as a side dish.
Source: Chef Mario Batali’s “Molto Batali” (ecco, 2011).
¾ cup sliced fresh mushrooms, any kind
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat grill to medium heat and string mushrooms and peppers alternately on metal or soaked wooden skewers. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and brush onto skewered vegetables.
Place skewers on oiled grill and grill 4 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally and basting with oil. Mushrooms should be tender when finished.
Yield: Serves 4.
Note: Use any local, seasonal vegetables you can find.