Monday, June 6

BBQ Seitan & Pea Pesto Pasta

One evening last week I spent the night on the couch.  Typically E and I watch some Cops, some Seinfeld, and a little bit of the Food Network.  On this particular night, Erik went to bed, and I couldn't force myself to budge off of the couch... so I watched a Food Network show that I usually avoid.  It's the most un-vegetarian show that I've ever seen on that channel, Diners Drive-ins and Dives.

This particular episode was the most meat-intense show possible: barbecuing.  Now, watching those crazies roast an entire pig was practically painful, but even though I'm an 8-year vegetarian, I'm also quick to admit that meat tasted good.  In fact, I was a huge meat eater until college, and I will never deny the tastiness of all the meat that is out there.  Nevertheless, I whole-heartily believe that it is morally wrong to consume it.  Call it my beliefs, my religion, my annoying rant... call it what you will.  The point is that I watched this show and couldn't wait to make a veggie bbq sandwich!

I picked up a package of seitan, covered it in some bottled bbq sauce, and stuck it in the oven for about an hour.  I think it would be much better grilled, or marinated in a unique bbq sauce, but let's face it folks.. I was lazy.

In the mean time, I started the pesto by combining the following ingredients in the food processor:

           -- 25 leaves of fresh basil
            -- handful of fresh parsley
            -- 2 cloves of garlic
            -- 1/2 cup of Pecorino Romano
            -- juice of 1 lemon
            -- 1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts
            -- 3/4 cup of olive oil 
               (added slowly as the food processor runs)

I mixed the pesto into a pound of cooked pasta, and stirred in:

   -- a ladle full of starchy pasta water
   -- a bag of frozen peas (about 10 oz)
   -- a handful of chopped scallions
   -- 4 full stocks of celery
   -- lots of salt and pepper, and a little celery seed
   -- some more Pecorino (who can resist?)

The barbecued seitan came out of the oven looking (and tasting) lovely, but the Diners, Drive-ins and Dives TV show taught me that if I were a good ol' southern gal, I'd know the importance of adding some slaw to the sandwhich.  So, I added some fresh coleslaw.  (Buy the pre-shredded mix at the store, and all of you have to do is stir in some slaw dressing!)

Voila!  Definitely satisfied my urge for BBQ!

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