Pesto and Leche

This was The Week of Sauces! Not a bad proclamation. Quite a tasty adventure, actually.

First was ramp pesto made with spring's first tender onions, parsley, and mint. We ladled it over grilled chicken (brined in buttermilk and Franks HotSauce, then plopped over a can of lemon San Pellegrino for an extended stay on the grill), and the leftovers will pair nicely with potatoes or pasta.

Second was Leche De Tigre (tiger's milk), a sauce that is new to my kitchen and my palate. Our Fig to Fork delivery this week included the recipe from Chef Brendan McDonald of 4Bells. The leche gave our snapper tacos a zesty appeal. Tonight we'll brush the sauce over turkey burgers while they grill.

Ramp Pesto
1/2 cup ramps, chopped
Large handful Italian parsley
Small handful mint
Good handful walnuts, toasted
Good handful of parmesan cheese, shredded
2 cloves of garlic
Juice from half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Olive oil

In small saute pan cook ramps in a small bit of olive oil over medium high heat until ramps are just tender, about 5 minutes. Add ramps to bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade. Add parley,mint, walnuts, cheese, garlic, lemon juice, and black pepper. Turn processor on and add enough olive oil to make a loose paste. 

Leche De Tigre (adapted from Chef Brendan McDonald's recipe)
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 habanero chili pepper, seeded and rinsed well in cold water
3 cloves garlic
1 shallot
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons pineapple juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wear gloves to cut habanero in half and remove seeds. Rinse under cold water.

Roast red and yellow peppers, garlic, and shallot on parchment lined baking sheet for 15 to 20 minutes or until charred, turning every 5 minutes to get all sides evenly roasted. Remove from oven and let vegetables cool enough to handle. Rinse pepper under cool water and pull away charred skins and seeds. Return peppers to oven to warm them. Remove skin from shallot and garlic.

Add all ingredients into a blender or food processor fitted with metal blade and puree for 5 to 10 minutes. Cool and serve.


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