For Sunday dinner, I tried a mint pesto with the wild mint that came in my CSA share.  It had mint, parsley, parmigiana reggiano, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil.  What better to pair it with than lots of grilled treats, including a lamb skewers, asparagus, red onion, and the obligatory accoutrements:  minted yogurt sauce and smoky hummus (made with smoked paprika).  I also made a brown rice pilaf with a touch of the wild mint, peas, and lemon zest.  Topped with ricotta salata, it made a great side dish.

The whole thing sounds like quite a feast to behold, right? Well, turns out the wild mint is just too bitter to be a star in a thing like pesto.  This ain’t your typical mojito mint. And my limited culinary training is failing me in terms of how to adequately tame its bitterness. Adding sugar doesn’t seem right, but I might try it.

Because I’m such a nutcase about not wasting food, I’m going to at least attempt to use the rest of it.  I’m thinking of rubbing it on some chicken parts (with skin and bone) and grilling it.  Perhaps cooking will mellow the flavor?  If anyone is reading this, your suggestions are most welcome.

On Monday, I finally stuck to the meatless theme I’ve been trying to incorporate for months, but because of the abundance of pesky leftovers from Sunday dinner or the need to use other items in my refrigerator that will otherwise take a turn for the worse, my efforts to date have failed.

This time, victory was mine! I made arugula pesto with the gorgeous arugula that came in my CSA box. Basically, it was just like a basil pesto, but I subbed walnuts for the pine nuts.  Seasoned liberally with salt and pepper, it was fresh tasting and rich at the same time.  I also managed to incorporate into the meal more of the green garlic from the share and the asparagus I bought at the grocery store (totally an impulse buy).   Randy is the household grillmaster, so he grilled the asparagus and green garlic, which I then chopped and added to the pasta.

I topped the whole bit with ricotta salata (yes, I’m trying to use it up, but it’s also terrific cheese with just the right amount of bite and salt).

Served with a green leaf lettuce salad (from my CSA share), and homemade sourdough bread (made with my own starter), and a bit of brie (damn those “tiny treats” from Whole Foods!), it was a dinner to remember… and repeat!

Advertisements