Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
This is a lovely pesto for pasta alone or a light chicken or seafood dish.
- 2 Red Bell Peppers
- 4 cloves Garlic **Use only 2 if not roasting garlic**
- ½ cup toasted pine nuts
- ½ cup Parmesano Reggiano grated
- olive oil
- fresh basil finely chopped
- S/P to taste
- Assemble all your ingredients before you start cooking. Mise en place will greatly improve the quality of your cooking.
- There are two ways to roast peppers: over flame or under the broiler. For roasting on a flame, leave them whole and rotate until skin is charred. For broiler, cut peppers in half, seed them and roast under the broiler until the skin is charred. Once skin is charred, put in a plastic bag or in a bowl covered with plastic to allow them to steam. The skins will come off easily after steaming for a few minutes.
- I like to roast the garlic for this recipe, but that can only be done in the oven. If you put the whole garlic cloves in with the peppers, make sure to remove them when they are brown and soft otherwise they will burn. If you are not using the oven, cut the amount down to TWO cloves raw garlic, finely chopped.
- The pine nuts need to be toasted. Put them in a dry skillet over medium high heat and toss until they start to be fragrant and brown. Do not turn your back or they will burn. You can also do ALL your pine nuts at once, then freeze them for easy usage - which is what I do.
- Peel and cut up the peppers and add to food processor or blender. Add garlic, pine nuts and parmesan. Add about a Tbl of olive oil and start processing. Stream in olive oil slowly until you get the consistency you want. Add basil and pulse to combine. Season with S/P.
You can use this pesto method for any number of ingredients. Substitute cilantro for basil and it's more Mediterranean. Substitute pecans for pine nuts and it's more sweet. And of course, there's basil pesto, which is all basil with nuts, garlic and parm. I've also use a cilantro pesto on fish, which is excellent.