The Meatball Shop's Garden Pesto Spiral-Cut Hot Dog

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1 hot dog, plus lots of extra pesto Easy
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Ingredients (10)

The Meatball Shop’s Pesto:

  • 1⁄4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1⁄2 cup olive oil
  • 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

To assemble:

  • 1 hot dog, spiral cut (link in intro)
  • 1 hot dog bun
  • ¼ cup The Meatball Shop’s Pesto
  • ½ tomato, thinly sliced

Summary

Daniel Holzman, executive chef of New York City’s The Meatball Shop thinks the spiral-cutting your hot dog is a cool way to optimize it as a platform for condiments. Here, he and co-owner Michael Chernow present the spiral-cut dog two ways: with The Meatball Shop’s Pesto and a sliced tomato, and Chicago-style, with pickle spears, onion, and tomato. Watch our video on how to spiral-cut a hot dog, then check out TV Guide’s video of Daniel and Michael in action on a rooftop in Brooklyn.

Note: If you prefer, you can use arugula in the pesto recipe instead of spinach. Also, the recipe makes 4 cups of pesto—way more than you’ll probably need—but it freezes well and will keep for up to three months in the freezer.

Instructions

To make the pesto:
  1. 1Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. 2Fill a large stockpot three-quarters full with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. 3Meanwhile, spread out the walnuts on a small-rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 12 minutes, giving them a shake after 6 minutes. Continue roasting until golden brown and toasted. Set aside and allow to cool thoroughly.
  4. 4Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water, and set it close to the sink.
  5. 5Dump the spinach and basil into the boiling water and store. After 1 minute, strain the greens, and plunge them into the bowl with ice water. Drain the greens again and squeeze them tightly to get as much water out as possible. Chop the greens roughly.
  6. 6Combine the greens and walnuts with the salt, olive oil, and Parmesan in a food processor and process until a smooth consistency is reached. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired. Set aside.

To make the hot dog:

  1. 1If you’re looking to give Daniel’s Chicago-inspired hot dog a shot, place the grilled hot dog in the bun, and fan out the sliced red onions between the bun and the hot dog. Then top the hot dog with sliced pickles, and season with hot sauce until you reach desired level of heat.
  2. 2For the Garden Pesto dog, spiral-cut and grill the hot dog (link to instructions are in the intro). Lightly toast the split bun on the grill.
  3. 3Place the grilled dog in the bun, and add 1/4 cup pesto, the sliced tomato, and serve.
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