dimanche 16 novembre 2008

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

A fall alternative to pesto made with basil is one made with roasted red peppers.  Roasting brings out the sweetness and a richer flavour in the peppers.  I prefer to roast peppers on the barbecue but have also done it under the grill in the oven.  I tried over the gas element but found that that was too much trouble.  The skins should be blistered and blackened for the best flavour and ease of removal. 
For this recipe, I also roasted the garlic which makes it milder in taste.   Roasted Red Pepper Pesto makes a great sauce for pasta.  It can also be used on pizza, as a spread for bread or crackers or as a dip for vegetables. 

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

3 medium red peppers, quartered, seeds and membranes removed
3 unpeeled cloves of garlic
60 mL (1/4 cup) olive oil
1 small red chile
30 mL (2 Tbsp) pine nuts, toasted
¼ cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped

Grill peppers, skin side up, until skin blisters and blackens. Smash garlic cloves with the flat blade of a large knife. Add to peppers for last 5-10 minutes. Peel skin from peppers and garlic. Place the peppers, garlic, pine nuts and chile in a food processor. Turn on and add the olive oil in a steady stream and process until smooth. Add cheese and process until smooth. Remove to a bowl.

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