Although I’m not a big fan of the heat that summer brings, I do love the food of the season. Fresh vegetables and especially the fresh herbs. I grow about 15 different herbs in my yard. Most are perennials which return every year. They have no pests and very few disease problems. Beats having to pay top dollar for just a small amount at the grocer.
Since my garden is small, I grow “cash crops”. Items I like to use often, but would be pricey to purchase. As much as I like new potatoes, they take a lot of room to grow…so I don’t grow them. But grape tomatoes…yes, and I turn them into “sun” dried tomatoes every summer since I use them so much.
Chimichurri sauces are one of my favorite summertime delights. I decided to adapt a Tarragon Mint variation into a sauce for pasta and vegetables. It works beautifully.
I combined this with fresh green beans, mature carrots and sweet onions. Add this to your favorite pasta and grilled chicken. The final additions were Balsamic Bellavitano cheese and toasted walnuts.
When I had my husband taste it. He face just sort of melted into a calm look and he asked “how do you come up with these?” He absolutely loved it.
Saute your vegetables while waiting for the water to boil. The sauce comes together faster than the pasta can cook. And of course, I cheat by having a supply of grilled chicken on hand (frozen) to add to dishes just like this. See how here.
For the sauce
1 cup of fresh mint leaves
1 cup of fresh parsley (I used curly)
3/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tsp roasted garlic powder or 1 large clove minced garlic
1 tsp honey mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup walnut pieces
Olive oil as needed
2 cups fresh green beans
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 of large sweet onion, sliced very thin
1 quart package of grilled chicken (or any deli chicken, grilled meat of your choice)
1 package of pasta (your favorite) cooked al dente and drained
1 cup Balsamic Bellavitano cheese, grated
Put a pot of water onto boil to cook the pasta.
In a large skillet: first– dry toast your walnuts. This only takes a couple of minutes, make sure they don’t burn. Remove and set aside.
Add the olive oil to the heated pan, toss in the onion slices first and let them saute for a minute or two to soften. (if you have an extra 15 minutes-let the onions saute on low heat. It takes this dish to a another level! So worth it.) Then add the carrots and green beans. Saute uncovered for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Cover and let cook another 5 minutes or so until just tender.
Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions.
In your food processor, add all the sauce ingredients and process until well combined.
Heat up your chicken or meat of choice.
Drain the pasta and add the vegetables, toasted walnuts and tarragon mint sauce. Toss until well combined. Serve with Bellavitano cheese on top. Enjoy!