Monday, May 17, 2010

what's in a name?

To continue with our grilling theme I offer you my version of grilled vegetables with a fresh herb &  black olive pesto tapenade vinaigrette. A what? I know the name is a bit in-elegant. I generally resist fancy, overwrought names for dishes and prefer to call things as they are.  This one has me stumped because it is all and none of the sum of it's parts. That is to say, it is not strictly a pesto, nor tapenade, nor vinaigrette- but more of a bastardized version of the attributes of all three. OK, I'll shut up.

Beautiful colors!- These vegetables are cut into slabs or wedges so they will cook quickly and evenly.

The cut vegetables are arranged on the hot part of the grill with just a brush of olive oil at this point.

A grill basket would come in really handy now. The risk-all approach means there inevitably will be a few veggie casualties.
I tossed a little scotch bonnet pepper on the grill and when it got to my plate and I took a bite- YEAOCH!! that baby was very hot :-)
The cooked vegetables get put into a pan to keep warm. I toss the vegetables with a few spoonfuls of "the sauce" and serve the rest on the side.

fresh herb &  black olive pesto tapenade vinaigrette

1/2 cup pitted black olives (not canned!)
1/2 cup fresh leafy herbs- a single herb or any combination of the following: parsley, mint, basil, cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. pine nuts

Put all ingredients in food processor and blend till combined. 
makes about 1 cup. Store in a jar in the fridge and use on everything (grilled veg and meats, on bread, pasta, cheese!)

Wow! What a versatile recipe! There are so many ways I'd love to use this pesto-tapenade-vinaigrette. Wine pairing is tough, however, with a sauce/dressing like this as a result of the vinegar's high acidity. Stay away from soft, rich wines since the acidity will render them "flat" and blah. Definitely stick with something more lively and bright. I am thinking this recipe is on the salty side with the black olives and added tsp of salt. Therefore, why not sip something with a touch (just a touch) of sweetness to act as a counterpart to the dressing's saltiness? We all love that sweet/salty combination, right? Think chocolate covered pretzels. In addition to the "sweet" or slightly off-dry characteristic, I would choose something with good acidity.

Riesling would be my first choice. Nothing too sweet though. The other day we tasted a Riesling specifically made to complement all types of food. The creators' goal was to produce a wine to go with anything - hence the name Anything Goes Riesling. Well-priced at $9.99, I was impressed with this fun, everyday white. It is crisp, bright and lively - a perfect match for this "zippy" vinaigrette. The wine is part of the portolio of German producer Schmitt Sohne.  Whatever your choice, just be sure to avoid anything too tannic, too "big", or too rich! You don't want the sauce to be overpowered by the wine; and conversely you don't want the acidity of the sauce to stamp out any of the wine's flavors or characteristics.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. Spammers have forced me to now review every comment before publishing. So please bear with me as I read through your comment. Thank you for visiting the blog!