Vegetarian Satays with Asian Pesto
- Vegetarian 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 lemon grass, white part only, minced
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 cups peanut oil
- 1 cup Thai basil leaves
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup mint leaves
- Salt and black pepper
Prepare a hot grill. Skewer the slices individually. The shiitakes should have a scallion on each side. Lightly oil and season the satays and on a hot grill, mark and criss-cross both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes total. In a food processor, add 2 cups peanuts, shallots, garlic, chiles, kaffir, and lemon grass and puree smooth. Add sugar, lime juice and season. Drizzle in remaining oil then add the herbs. Check for seasoning.
Lay a bed of peanuts on a large plate. Serve the pesto in a bowl and surround with satays. Garnish with extra kaffir leaves or lemongrass.
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