Albeit some can argue California undergoes Spring/Summer seasons year-round, I guess it took me weathering through an extremely freezing winter on the East Coast to genuinely appreciate it. And, what screams springtime better than fresh produce & grilling? I wanted to conjure up something that encompassed the two, so naturally I swayed toward a crostini & pesto situation (a classic, yet delicious combo). I swapped basil for kale in the pesto, and grilled the baguette and peaches (grilled fruit is ah-ma-zing – if you haven’t tried it yet, you’re seriously missing out). The prosciutto adds a salty bite, while the mozzarella lends a creaminess that binds each morsel together. And how gorgeous are those bold colors? I couldn’t imagine anything better to devour on a sunny weekend afternoon (BESIDES that bottle of Rose calling my name…)
Grilled Peach & Kale Pesto Stacks
Makes four stacks
4 slices Baguette (sour dough or French), cut about 1/4-in. thick
Kale Pesto (recipe below)
4 slices Mozzarella cheese, cut about 1/4-in. thick
4 ounces Prosciutto
1 Peach, cut into 4 slices
Salt & pepper to taste
Brush each side of the baguette slices with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill the bread slices until lightly toasted, for about 2 minutes on each side. Set aside.
Brush each side of the peach slices with olive oil. Grill about 1 minute each side. Set aside.
Yields 1 1/2 cups
1 bunch Kale (about 7 ribs)
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic
juice & zest of 1 lemon
salt & pepper to taste
Blanch the kale. In a pot of boiling water, add the kale for 30 seconds, then remove and plunge into a large bowl filled with ice water. Remove the kale onto a kitchen towel to dry. **Blanching the kale helps keep the pesto bright green, as well as take away any bitterness raw kale would add. It’s a simple trick that goes a long way.
In a food processor, add the kale, walnuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Start pulsing, and slowly stream in the olive oil. Add salt & pepper to taste. **Kale Pesto can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.
Easy – just stack up! (See below)