Monday, May 9, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Okay y'all!

It's confession time...yet again.

I need to tell you something.....

The Hubble may not like this....

Here goes...

I may never leave Central Texas!!

The Hubble may not like this because that means his whole military career thing is going to become much more...interesting.

Surely he wouldn't mind if we didn't tag along all over the country/world with him right??

I mean, if it means that I have to go back to some place like the Middle of Nowhere Missouri...I'm sorry buddy, NO. CAN. DO!

Of course, he probably knows that I'm full of hot air because he knows I'd follow him to the ends of the Earth. Stupid love.

Oh well.

At least I can enjoy Texas for now.

Why am I so excited??

Because I found basil!!!!

And not just the dried stuff....or the occasional single use serving of the stuff.

No. I found BASIL!!!! Fresh basil! In bulk!

It was amazing.

And that means...I was able to make pesto! Woohoo!!

Not only that, but I got a wild hair and decided to roast my own peppers for said pesto.

And let me tell you, if you have never roasted your own peppers, you need to go grab some and get to it.

Roasting peppers is probably one of the most awesomely fun experiences I've ever had.

And it was easy too! How can you beat that??

I ended up making this pesto for a savory cheesecake that I will share with you next week.

But since I didn't use it all, I threw together some pasta that I'm going to share with you Thursday.

And you will NOT want to miss Thursday's post because this pasta was pretty much the best stuff I've ever made!!

Anyway. I guess I should stop waxing poetic about Texas and get on with the recipe right??

Here we go...

Ingredients: Fresh basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, fresh Parmesan and red peppers.

Toss your peppers, one at a time, straight on the burner of your gas stove. If you don't have a gas stove, you can use a grill or your oven on broil (use the top most rack).

Continue to turn the peppers as they start to char. They will catch fire a bit but since they are so juicy, the fire doesn't really ignite. But please make sure you are wearing short sleeves and using tongs!

See how pretty and black they get??? Try to get as much of the pepper to blacken as you can.

Then immediately toss them into a large Ziploc baggie. Let the steam for about 20-30 minutes (I took a shower while mine were steaming).

When you are done with your shower or whatever you did while the peppers steamed, take them out of the bag and slip the char off the pepper using your hands or a paper towel. By now the black stuff should just slide right off the pepper. It's messy, but fun! And resist the temptation to rinse the pepper. The char gives it that extra roasty flavor.

Now chop off the tops and cut the peppers in half. Scrape out the seeds. Honestly, when the tops were chopped off, the juices and seeds poured right out of the pepper. There was minimal scraping required.

Now toss the roasted and cleaned out peppers into a food processor with all your other ingredients. Pulse a few times, then let her rip! Process until the entire thing is nice and smooth (scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Isn't it gorgeous??? I think pesto always needs a bit more cheese. Now, stop by on Thursday to check out the most AMAZING pasta that I've ever made. I'll give you a hint...this pesto has something to do with it!

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Retrieved from Cooking Light

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  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (either throw these on a baking sheet in the oven or on a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring/shaking often, to toast)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds red bell peppers (about 4 large), roasted and peeled
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth, scraping sides of processor bowl occasionally. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week. 
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