Wednesday, June 27, 2012

roasted red pepper pesto

Like the robust, smokiness of roasted red peppers? Love the bright, herb-filled freshness of pesto? Than I've got the recipe for you.  Combining all of the goodness of these two elements, this sauce is both wonderfully tasty and endlessly versatile. Tossed with piping hot pasta or spaghetti squash, and you've got a great alternative to tomato marinara. Spread over a crust and studded with your favorite toppings, and you're on your way to an extra-special slice of pizza pie. Drizzled on crusty bread and topped with some Kalamata olives, fresh basil, and feta, and you're all set for a quick Greek appetizer. Or, do like I did and mix it by the spoonful with a dollop of hummus, spread it on sliced bread, and top it with fresh spinach, tomato, and avocado for a mouth-watering veggie sandwich. Mmmmm. And if those options aren't enough for you, I've got one more tempting suggestion. But you'll have to wait for another day...

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

2 large red bell peppers, de-seeded, membranes removed, and cut into thick slices
1 large garlic clove
2 tbsp. pine nuts
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
2-3 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place pepper slices skin side down on a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle olive oil over top and lightly salt. Roast for 20-25 minutes until edges are slightly transparent, and the skin is somewhat blackened and blistered.

Meanwhile, lightly toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat, being careful not to burn them.

In a food processor or blender, puree the bell peppers, garlic, pine nuts, and basil. With the machine running, drizzle in enough olive oil until the desired consistency is achieved. Season with salt and pepper.

Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 

Adapted from Table for Two


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