At the risk of sounding mundane, I had the most delicious sandwich today. Chicken salad in cilantro pesto on toasted bread with local lettuce and fat slices of Brandywine tomato. It was seriously good.
We got some nice cilantro from our farmshare, and since I knew from experience that it wilts at a ridiculous rate, I knew I had to get it into circulation right away. Pesto sounded like a good idea. Plus, it would hold for a few days in that oily environment so I could figure out what I wanted to do with it.
Initially, I was thinking I’d thin it out with olive oil and drizzle it over haddock. But, then I went a little crazy with the pumpkin seeds and it ended up nuttier than I expected. Suddenly, I wasn’t seeing fish. Chicken seemed more like it. I found some scraps in the freezer, fried them up (I was out of charcoal), and shredded them with a knife and fork. In went about half of the pesto and a few tablespoons of mayonnaise. Just right.
If I had been organized, this sandwich could have qualified as 100% local. But, alas, I was not. The oil was from Spain, and the chicken and the pumpkin seeds were from…who the hell knows. The store? It’s not September, yet.
Though this worked great for chicken salad, I might reduce the pumpkin seeds by half for other things.
1 bunch cilantro (maybe two loose cups), leaves picked off, washed, and dried
½ cup pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp. white onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp. cubanelle pepper, roughly chopped (I thought what I had was a hot pepper, but turns out it wasn’t)
¼-½ cup Spanish olive oil
Salt and pepper
Pulse the first four ingredients in the food processor. With the processor running, add the oil in a slow stream. Keep pouring until it’s the way you like it. Season generously with salt and pepper.