Roasted Pepper Pesto

First off, this is not just a pesto for pasta. I use it as a dip as well as on bread in sandwiches, in baked potatoes, and on crackers. It keeps really well in an airtight container for about a week maybe even more. It’s somewhere between a humus and a pesto, so it’s really versatile. A great healthy snack, dinner sauce, lunch box dressing or dip. You can use normal paprika instead of hot, and reduce the cayenne pepper to a pinch. Also the larger the chilli the less heat and of course no seeds. Tweak it to the spice level you like. This has a slight kick but is not very hot. I also tend to serve it with coriander which gives a lovely balance.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of pine nuts, warmed in a pan
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • large pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • large pinch of hot paprika
  • 2 whole cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped in chunks
  • 1 onion halved
  • 4 cherry vine tomatoes, chopped in ¼
Toss all the veg in some oil and pop in a roasting tin.

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 200°C. Then pop in the veg for about 20-25 minutes. I leave the skins on and remove before blitzing.
  • In a warm pan, place your pine nuts to release their oil. Watch them as they burn quickly. A couple of minutes should do the trick. Then pour into your food processor.
  • Add olive oil, along with the roasted ingredients, spices and seasoning to the processor and blitz until smooth. You may need to add a splash of water to loosen the mixture depending on your processor. Check the seasoning.
  • Serve as a dip, spread on toast or toss in some pasta. Caramelised bacon lardons and onion go really lovely with this.

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