recipe: multi-green pesto, roasted veggie salad

handmade pesto from wikipediaLately, we’ve been eating a lot of salads for meals. All kinds of salads. Leafy ones. Shredded ones. Amalgamations of raw. Or par cooked. Vegan. Or vegetarian. Or, for me, even the omnivore kind. All in an attempt to eat healthier while challenging our palettes. We are learning about different techniques and flavor combinations we never knew existed. In not being the lead chef for these meals I haven’t been experimenting quite as much lately which made working on this meal pretty fun. It builds on the salad kind of dishes we’ve been making but takes a twist borrowing from parts of dishes we already are pretty versed in to formulate a core. It didn’t hurt to have a pesto craving either.

The first thing to note is that the wheat berries which have a nutty flavor an a stiffer bite, but are generally similar to working with brown rice, which can be used as a substitute, as can any other cooked whole grain you prefer. We cook with homemade stock which helps impart an extra flavor too. As for the roasted veggies, we use what we find fresh at the market (well as fresh as the market has some days, let’s not get crazy, it is Manhattan). We added a few unroasted veggies too for flavor and texture too. Finally, the pesto was my recipe. I don’t recall posting it before but it’s something I’ve used in variants before and just went with what I could find in crafting this version of it. You’ll notice it is one of the few recipes I put “exact” amounts to, primarily due to not being able to best explain it in ratios since it doesn’t seem to scale the same way other recipes do when I use them. As much as I’d love to make pesto by hand, the use of a food processor is far superior for the efficiency perspective, just add your greens last and don’t liquify them!

When serving the beauty of recipes like this is that the longer they sit the better they taste as the flavors marry, so you can make them in advance and hold them. They also work both hot and cold and most food safe temperatures in between. Use as a meal itself or as a side or appetizer. Probably anything other than desert really.

1/3 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pecarino romano
2 cups mixed greens (baby spinach, baby kale, basil was our mix)
lemon juice and zest
black pepper
red pepper flakes
2-3 cloves garlic
saute pan
food processor

in a sautee pan toast the almonds and the whole peeled garlic cloves and allow to cool down
combine in the food processor the salt, black and red pepper, garlic and almonds and pulse until semi-smooth
add the cheese, lemon and half the oil to the processor and pulse to combine
add the greens to the food processor and a little more oil and pulse to just combine
finish with additional oil for consistency and salt as necessary for flavor

Wheat Berries
stock pots
bay leaves

in a large stock warm your stock
in a second large pot lightly toast the wheat berries
add the bay leaf
add the stock to the wheat berries in about a 2:1 ratio
add salt and fresh cracked black pepper, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook covered to package instructions, usually about 50-60 minutes until just tender

garlic cloves
olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 or the broiler
Quarter or eighth the onions
depaper the garlic
snap the stem bottoms
very lighty coat with oil
roast until the veggies just begin to char
We do them in batches because the times by veggie will varry

To finish combine the wheat berries, the roasted veggies and the pesto with tomato to serve


About thedoormouse

I am I. That’s all that i am. my little mousehole in cyberspace of fiction, recipes, sacrasm, op-ed on music, sports, and other notations both grand and tiny:
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