Goodbye to the Vesta truck...

Goodbye to the Vesta truck...
April 2013: We're sad to announce that the Vesta Flatbread food truck's last service will be April 13th. We are tremendously grateful for you, our amazing customers. Your support, loyalty, and positive feedback kept us going while we grew our business from a humble pop-up tent at two farmer's markets to a flashy brick oven-bearing food truck serving 4-5 days a week in three different cities. It's been an incredible ride. Vesta will be on hiatus for the remainder of the year, but stay tuned for more Vesta news in the future, as our quest for a brick and mortar project progresses.

And now, a recipe

This is my kind of appetizer; one people guiltily hover over until it is decimated, mention three times over the course of the evening, and then ask you for the recipe on their way out. Though it is not on our regular menu, we have served it in the past for Vesta catering gigs.  It comes from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook, which has a coveted space at the top of my bookshelf. --Traci

Broiled feta with Red Pepper Relish

Take a big rectangular hunk of feta, preferably French, drizzle with olive oil and stick under the broiler until it gets a bit of color and bubbles from the heat. Spoon the Red Pepper Relish, which you have prepared in advance, (recipe follows) over the top, and serve with toasted baguette slices or crackers.

Roasted Pepper Relish – adapted from the Zuni CafĂ© Cookbook

1 ½ T dried currants
2 tsp. sherry vinegar
½ tsp. warm water
12 ounces bell peppers (1 large or two small)
3 T pine nuts
1 T fresh  chopped basil or arugula
2 small garlic, pounded to a paste
3 tablespoons sweet sherry or sweet Marsala (or balsamic vinegar if you don't have either of these)

1) Combine the dried currants, vinegar, and warm water, kneading the currants lightly.
2) Roasting and peeling the peppers: (You didn't hear this from me but bottled roasted peppers work pretty damn fine in a pinch, especially in winter when peppers are out of season. Of course, there is no substitution for the fresh ones!) 
                  Note: Handle the roasting peppers gently – the collapsing cells release moisture, which you want to keep inside the peppers until you peel them. If you puncture the tender flesh, the sweet juice will spill into the roasting pan and dry out, or trickle into the fire.
To use the oven method, preheat the oven to 450. Set the peppers in a baking dish and pladce on the top rack of the oven. Turn as the tops grown and blister, and roast until they have nearly collapsed, 20 to 35 minutes, depending on size.
Transfer the roasted peppers to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, slide or rub off the skins – not worrying if some spots don’t want to release (do this over a second bowl, so you can capture some of the delicious juice). Charred skins tend to come off in chunks and bits; dip you fingertips in water occasionally as you remove them. Don’t rinse the peppers.
Still working over the bowl, pull off the stems and seeds. Separate each pepper into slabs. Combine the juice from both bowls and strain out skins and seeds.
Lay the pepper slabs on a cutting board, brush away any remaining seeds, and scrape or peel off any remaining large patches of skin with a paring knife. Again, don’t rinse the peppers, as you would only be washing away the flavorful syrup.

3) Assembling the relish:
                  Cut the peppers into small dice and combine with their juice. You should get about one cup.
While the peppers are roasting, set the pine nuts in the oven, if using, or in a small skillet over low heat to warm through, a few minutes at most. Coarsely chop.
                  Add the currants, pine nuts, basil or arugula, garlic, oil and Sherry or Marsala. Salt to taste.