Friday, July 29, 2011

Grilled Veggies with Basil Pecan Pesto

These pictures do not do this dish justice. I grilled the veggies just a tad too long this time which doesn't make for a beautiful presentation :), but it still tastes so good. It is a great side dish and can be served hot or cold.


1 cup packed basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ cup pecans
¼ cup parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
a pinch of kosher salt

Vegetables: (whatever you like, but here is a suggestion:)
2 zucchini, cut in quarters lengthwise (or half if they are on the small side)
2 yellow squash, cut in quarters lengthwise (same as above)
1 red onion, cut in wedges from root to stem, leaving stem intact (so they don't fall apart because you don't want these guys slipping though the cracks!)
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into thick strips
2 tomatoes, cut in half (any kind will do)

1. Prepare your grill to cook at medium heat. Cut your vegetables and cover them all with a bit of olive oil. The vegetables will be cut into bite size chunks later. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt.

2. Place the vegetables on the grill. After the first ones laid down have cooked for about two minutes rotate them about 45 degrees without turning them. Cook for another minute or two and then flip or turn them to another un-grilled surface. Cook for another 2 minutes and rotate them again. Continue grilling the vegetables until they are are cooked but still somewhat firm. The tomatoes will get very soft and that is OK. Remove all of the vegetables from the grill and set them aside to cool.

3. Using a food processor or blender, process the garlic until it is coarsely chopped. Add in the basil, nuts and cheese and pulse a few times. Add the oil in a slow stream through the feeder tube until it is all incorporated. Season to taste with salt. Feel free to add more olive oil if you want.

4. When the vegetables have cooled, cut them all into bite sized pieces. Smash and chop the tomatoes. Combine the vegetables in a large bowl. Add the pesto to the vegetables and stir to combine. Season with additional salt, if necessary. Place the vegetables into a serving bowl and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

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