Monday, May 26, 2014

Grilled Saltwort, Asparagus and Fiddlehead Pizza

Sauteed fiddleheads, grilled asparagus and grilled saltwort, with a little spinach-basil pesto.  Spring has sprung!

Salt what?

Saltwort!  It's a coastal plains/saltmarsh-loving plant (so, tolerant of salty soils and climes) known for its versatility in the kitchen (raw, grilled, sauteed, steamed...), as well as its medicinal benefit as a mineral-rich diuretic.
Wiggin Farm is selling this delicious plant (likely the komarovii known, thanks to fellow blogger 'Diary of a Tomato', as the soda species from the genus Salsola, family amaranthaceae); remember King Phillip Came Over Fearing Green Snakes?).
We tried it raw--yummy, crunchy, watery like a succulent--and grilled this first go-round.  Grilling it is fun and exciting, particularly if you're a fire bug.  I'm a fire bug.
Lather up the stems in olive oil.  I drizzled the oil over a plate of the saltwort and asparagus stems, then used the stems of the wort to pick up the last bit of oil--paintbrush style--before laying them down on the grill.  Flames will shoot out and spark up, so just be careful.  You can even use these as natural basting brushes for oiling up the grill plate before grilling!

A couple flips and maybe 2-1/2 to 3 minutes later and off they came (asparagus, too).  Scissors made quick work of removing the root end, with nary a leaf left behind.

Fiddleheads were sauteeing in the meantime, just in olive oil, fresh garlic, finished with lemon zest.  All three veg were arranged on the dough that got its headstart and finish on the grill. Grated gruyere and scamorza played along in their magnificant glue role, and a little spinach-basil pesto made for the final curtain.  Er, topping.
Three clumps of Shagbark spinach on their last legs met up with a big ol' clump of basil, several final cloves of winter garlic, toasted pine nuts, olive oil and salt for this ridiculously simple but ridiculously tasty pesto.  Nope, no cheese.
A good drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper was all it took for this 30-minute meal to go down in less time.

So much for relishing the deliciousness that this spring meal had to offer....
Green food!  It's what's for dinner!