Grilled Carrots & Leeks with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Pesto

We are finally in March which means spring is nearly around the corner! To me, Spring is that great time of the year when the weather is not too cold and hopefully not too hot. Since we can expect warmer weather, the pleasant sunny days with a little cooling Spring breeze is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors and grill. While it is not the summer barbeque season just yet, grilling is one of those cooking methods that seem perfect all year round. A good char on a nice cut of meat or even some vegetables adds a depth of flavor that is irreplaceable. And luckily, if you do not have access to an outdoor grill, a grill plate that can fit on a kitchen stove can work just as well. Your kitchen may get a little smoky so turn on your stove fan, pop open a window and enjoy the aroma of grilling food in the comfort of your home.

To get in the mood of Spring here at Armanino, we prepared an array of vegetables to be paired with our Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce. Using our grill plate in the kitchen, we grilled all the cut vegetables until they developed a delicious char. Try using a variety of multi-colored carrots for a beautiful presentation. As a topping, we used chili flakes and dukkah, my personal favorite nut and spice seasoning blend commonly found in the Middle East and Egyptian cuisine. Dukkah’s key ingredients include almonds, sesame seed, and spices such as coriander and cumin; the nut and spice blend is a great pairing with Armanino’s Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce. The combination of the charred vegetables, nutty and spicy notes from the toppings, and the slightly tangy Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce is a simple Spring dish that is sure to be a hit at any outdoor or indoor Spring gathering. For a larger party or picnic event idea, create a charcuterie platter with the grilled vegetables and add dried fruit, nuts, and cheeses to be served with a big helping of Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce!

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