Vegetarian Satays with Asian Pesto

Satays:
1 zucchini, sliced on the bias, 1/4-inch thick
1 small eggplant, sliced in half, then 1/4 inch slices
10 large shiitake caps
4 scallions, 1 inch lengths
wooden skewers soaked in water
Peanut Pesto:
4 cups roasted peanuts, 2 cups for plating
2  large, sliced shallots
4 cloves sliced garlic
3 minced thai bird chiles
3 kaffir lime leaves, chiffonade
2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
juice of 2 limes
2 cups peanut oil
1 cup thai basil leaves
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
salt and black pepper to taste

Prepare a hot grill. Skewer the slices individually. The shiitakes should have a scallion on each aide. Lightly oil and season the satays and on a hot grill, mark and criss-cross both sides, about 4-5 minutes total. In a food processor, add 2 cups peanuts, shallots, garlic, chiles, kaffir and lemongrass and puree smooth. Add sugar, juice and season. Drizzle in remaining oil then add the herbs. Check for seasoning.

Plating Lay a bed of peanuts on a large plate. Serve the pesto I bowl and surround with satays. May garnish with extra kaffir leaves or lemongrass.

Yield: 4 servings



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