This fabulous, easy recipe is a great addition to any cooks repertoire. It can take any dinner up a pedigree and still be healthy. It can be a simple pasta sauce for a quick meal or a sauce for grilled meat. It can also make a simple boring sandwich into something memorable. Maybe that is going to far, but then maybe not. It certainly is a healthier, tastier addition than mayo. I am probably biased about mayo. I have no affinity for the stuff as a sandwich spread, never ate it, but I do keep mayo on hand as an ingredient for recipes.
So here is how I made Red Pepper Pesto:
I put my oven on HI broil and let it heat up for a couple of minutes. I roasted them directly under my broiler in my oven. I put the oven rack on the top position directly under the flame (I have a gas oven) and placed the washed and dried red peppers on a pan (I added foil for quick clean up) and placed them in the oven. As they char on each side, turn them until they are charred all around. Mine looked like this:
It is always a good idea to smell and/or taste things like nuts and oil just to be sure. There is nothing like lovingly preparing or baking something just to have it taste weird. I don't think that rancid oils will make you sick - just undone over a failed recipe.
Moving on to pecans. I did not have more walnuts, which were definately my first choice, but I did have some whole pecans in the freezer. Feel free to use pine nuts or almonds - whatever floats your boat.
So here we go again, 350 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes and then cool. I poured mine onto the cutting board and spread them out to cool faster (not like in the picture - but it looks good right!)
So onward we go - oh, by the way, the way we prepared these peppers is the same way you would roast other larger type peppers like . . . green peppers, poblanos, anaheims and so forth.
Rough chop two large cloves of garlic (or 3 or 4 smaller ones).
Did I really just say that?!
We devoured this in one night. We made open faced sandwiches like this: toasted multi-grain bread, red pepper pesto, crumbled goat cheese, grilled chicken and scallions (fresh from farmers market - yes it makes a difference)and topped it with a romaine salad mix tossed in a simple balsamic salad dressing (in that order). It was tasty and pretty darn easy to put together. Sorry, no picture, but I wish I had one - then it would last longer! Did I just say that? AGAIN!
For anyone who is wondering - I have seen Pee Wee's playhouse a few times.
****************************************Just to take a minute and show you my kitchen companion. This guy always surprises us, some good, some not so good. This time, he is completely sacked out on my kids bags. There is tons of stuff in their bags and are very lumpy and probably a bit pokey. We do own couches, pillows and even some comfy cat beds. He must really love those kids a lot . . . or just simply too tired to go any further . . . or sick from drinking from the porcelain drinking fountain . . .just a thought. But anyway, this is what he was doing while I was making pesto. I am always a bit jealous of this ability to totally relax and cat nap anywhere.
Red Pepper Pesto
2 large roasted red peppers
1/2 cup nuts, toasted (walnuts, pecans, pinenuts, almonds)
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt or to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
2 or 3 drops of hot sauce (optional)
Put all into a food processor and puree (not smooth but lightly chunky). Season to taste and enjoy.
Excellent on sandwiches, pasta, pizza, grilled chicken and meats, as dip for raw veggies.
Nutritional Tidbit for red pepper: Huge in vitamin A and C in its raw form, but still very good in its cooked form. Very low in calories.