The slew of herbs in Jeanne Kelly's sauce verte were perfect for making use of my small garden's bumper crop. Laced with salty capers, spicy dijon, and pungent raw garlic, this thick green sauce from her new Kitchen Garden Cookbook is a potent twist on my standard pesto-heavy repertoire. Tossed with grill-kissed squash and smeared on charred spicy sausages, it helped make an early summer dinner even better.
Why I picked this recipe: I'm always looking for creative ways to incorporate more of my gardens' herbs into each and every meal.
What worked: Sweet, mild summer squash was a perfect match for the sauce verte. Adding grilled sausages was a great way to round things out into an easy full meal.
What didn't: Not a misstep in sight.
Suggested tweaks: I used a variety of small local squashes here, and the key to even cooking (as usual) was to slice them into relatively even pieces. Long, thin slices work best on the grill. If sausages aren't your thing, you could grill just about any protein here, or even skip it altogether and serve the squash with good crusty bread and a nice log of chèvre.
Reprinted with permission from Kitchen Garden Cookbook: Celebrating the homegrown and homemade by Jeanne Kelly. Copyright 2013. Published by Weldon Owen. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- Yield:Serves 4-6
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:30 minutes
- Sauce Verte
- 1/3 cup (1 ounce/30 g) packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 green onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds (1 kg) summer squash, such as pattypan, zucchini, or crookneck, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 French garlic or hot Italian sausages, about 1 1/2 pounds (750 g) total weight
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
To make the sauce: In a food processor, combine the basil, green onion, parsley, capers, lemon juice, oregano, mustard, and garlic and process until finely chopped. With the processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil and process until the mixture forms a chunky purée. (The sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
Prepare a medium fire for direct-heat cooking in a charcoal or gas grill.
Brush the squash halves with olive oil and season on all sides with salt and pepper. Arrange the squash halves and sausages on the grill directly over the fire and grill, turning as needed, until the squash halves are just tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 4 minutes. Transfer the squash halves to a platter, and toss with about 1/3 cup (3 fluid ounces/80 ml) of the sauce. Continue grilling the sausages, turning as needed, until cooked through, about 4 minutes longer.
Transfer the sausages to the platter with the squash, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve. Pass the remaining sauce at the table.