Plant Based 411
Hatch Season is Here!
By Nancy Eisman
Grown in a valley with hot, sunny days, and cool nights, just north of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Hatch peppers are in season and ready for your cooking and eating enjoyment. Highly prized in the Southwest for their thick flesh and skin, and unique levels of heat, Hatch pepper love has now swept the nation thanks in large part to the roastings directed by Melissa’s at supermarkets coast-to-coast.
Everyone knows that flavor plays a key role in plant-based cooking, and Hatch peppers are loaded with delicious, nuanced flavor and heat. Whether fresh, dried, ground, made into salsa, infused into polenta, and/or kick-added to pecans, almonds, and Clean Snax®, you’ll want to grab a hold of some Hatch peppers before the short season ends.
Grilled Hatch Polenta on Mustard Greens with Muscato™ Grape Agrodolce*
Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ cup onion, diced
½ cup Hatch pecans, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1//2 cup balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar for deglazing
1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon ground Melissa’s Hatch Pepper powder
½ teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 ½ cups fresh Muscato™ grapes, halved
½ cup dried cherries
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
Additional fresh cilantro for garnish
4 mustard leaves
Olive oil for brushing
Fine coarse salt for sprinkling
1 chub Hatch polenta, sliced into eight ¾” slices
Olive oil for brushing
Salt and pepper
To make the Muscato™ grape agrodolce, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and then add the onion and pecans. Sauté about 4 minutes and then add the garlic for about 1 minute. Add the vinegar to deglaze the pan and then add the remaining ingredients (except the cilantro). Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the 1 tablespoon of cilantro, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Brush the mustard leaves with olive oil. On a medium to high heat grill, also brushed with oil, place the mustard leaves and grill about 45 seconds per side until slightly brown and crisp around the edges. Place 1 leaf on each of 4 plates, sprinkle with salt, and set aside.
Brush the polenta slices with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place on the oiled grill for 7-8 minutes per side. Place 2 slices on each mustard leaf lined plate. Spoon the agrodolce over the top of each and garnish with fresh cilantro.
*Sweet and sour sauce