Friday, September 20, 2013

eating my share: pepper metamorphosis

We were graced with another 3 pounds of red bell peppers this week. I wanted to share a recipe that would take full advantage of their sweet flavor and help move them from the fridge to your belly.

Through the transformative process of roasting, red bell peppers start as crunchy and tangy and develop into silky and deep. By transforming the peppers further into a sauce, you'll have a versatile spread that can be used in many ways. Read below the recipe for some ideas. 

This makes about 2 cups of sauce. Store it in the fridge and use it throughout the week or freeze it for the future.

top roasted green beans (25 minutes at 425) with
roasted red pepper sauce and then sprinkle with parmesan bread crumbs
 (1/3 cup panko + 1 tbs parmesan bits + broiler)

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
6 red bell peppers
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp sherry vinegar (or lemon juice)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar

try one (or more) of these add-ins if it strikes your fancy
roasted garlic
parmesan cheese
fresh herbs
lemon zest
hot peppers (fresh roasted or dried flakes)
roasted tomatoes
a dash of cream

Preheat the oven to 425. Arrange the peppers on a rimmed baking sheet and bake on the bottom rack for 15 minutes. Switch the pan to the top rack and bake for another 10 minutes.

Turn the oven to broil and continue to roast the peppers under the broiler. The goal is to get the majority of the skin to blacken and puff up. Check them every minute and rotate them with tongs as necessary to blacken as much of the pepper as possible.

Remove from the oven and cover the pan with foil. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Remove foil and pull out the stem from each pepper. Tip over to drain juice and seeds but be careful because it will be hot! Let peppers rest until cool enough to handle and then remove the skins with your hands. They should peel off easily.

Combine the peeled peppers with the remaining ingredients and whiz it all together in a food processor or blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.

Here are some ideas for how to use this sauce

• Toss with pasta and parmesan cheese (+ veggies) for an easy dinner.

• Spread or drizzle on any kind of sandwich, burger, taco, burrito, etc.

• Use it on roasted potatoes a la patatas bravas style.

• Spoon it on top of grilled fish or chicken.

• Turn into a salad dressing by diluting with a splash of water and adding more vinegar.

• Blend with cannellini beans and roasted garlic (and/or feta cheese) to make a dip.

• Use it to enhance other condiments: mayo, hummus, ketchup, sriracha, cream cheese, etc.

• Make this red lentil soup and stir in some of the sauce.

I'd love to hear any ideas you have!

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