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Author Notes: The pesto is the heart of this dish. While I love your every day basil pesto, sometimes I like to kick it up. And with summer approaching, I decided to make a pesto all on the grill. All you need is a hot grill and a food processor. You could even make this on a bonfire if you wanted. The pesto has a subtle, smokey heat thanks to the peppers (and the grill), which makes this a perfect appetizer for any meal you're planning on grilling. And did I mention it's easy? You even get to burn things ON PURPOSE —Taylor Ayral
- 3 medium poblano peppers
- 1 jalapeno
- 4 large garlic cloves, skin on
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta
- 2 cups white pearl onions, peeled
- 2 cups whole grape tomatoes
- 1 good crusty loaf of bread, like a baguette or a country loaf
- 1 head of garlic
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- To peel the pearl onions, trim off the root end and blanche in boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove and allow to cool enough to handle. Just squeeze the onions out of their skin, and allow to dry.
- On a hot grill, char the poblanos and jalapeno until soft and mostly blackened. In a vegetable grilling basket, grill the whole garlic cloves until soft and the skin browns and loosens.
- Remove the skins and seeds from the peppers and chop roughly. Remove the root end of the garlic and squeeze out the clove. Move to a mini food processor.
- Add the cilantro and pine nuts. Run the food processor until you have a lumpy green paste.
- Add the feta and olive oil, and process until everything is evenly combined into a fairly thick, spreadable pesto. You may need to scrape down the side of the work bowl a few times.
- Toss the tomatoes and peeled onions with enough olive oil to coat, and place in the grilling basket over the hot grill. Grill until the tomatoes are mostly collapsed, and the onions have a nice char, about 15 minutes. Once the tomatoes are mostly burst, you may need to remove them from the basket to allow the onions to brown and char. If you want to, you could even cook the two separately. Remove to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Slice the country loaf into about 1/2" slices, and brush both sides with olive oil. The number of servings this recipe makes depends almost entirely on the loaf of bread, and how many slices you make from it. Place the slices on the hot grill and toast both sides until mostly browned with a few black bits around the edges.
- Cut off the top half of the head of garlic, so that all the cloves are held together by the root. Immediately after pulling the bread off the grill, rub the toast with the head of garlic.
- Once the bread is cool enough to handle, spread with the pesto, and top with a spoonful of grilled onions and tomatoes.