Finally, finally the weather has turned. We may still be getting loads of rain, but there is actually the scent of spring in the air and the touch of warmth through the showers. Winter has passed on (for good, we hope). The time is ripe for fresh produce at the markets (I even snagged some ramps last weekend!) and simple preparations to allow the bright spring flavors to shine.
Since I will soon be wanting to restock my freezer with the bounty of the coming summer I am also taking this time to try to go through the final products I packed away last year. Of which I have a vast quantity of pesto. This “not-quite-a-recipe” is an excellent, simple way to serve up a variety of the harvest about to arrive.
Step 1: Take the vegetable you would like to serve up (say endive, radicchio, asparagus, eggplant, zucchini, etc) and clean. If the vegetable is very large, cut into pieces that will fit onto your grill or griddle pan.
Step 2: Place the vegetable directly onto a dry grill or griddle pan that has been heated to a medium-high heat. Cook on all sides until just slightly charred (with the lettuces this will be very fast–about 30 seconds-1 minute per side) and cooked through.
Step 3: Allow the vegetables to cool slightly and then chop into bite-sized pieces. Toss into a bowl. Add a couple of tablespoons of pesto and some extra virgin olive oil to help thin it out and coat all of the veggies. Toss together and serve. Excellent served with grilled meats or barbecue.
15 Poppy House Road
Rio Vista, California 94571