Some times when I am making my menu for the week, I get an idea for a particular flavor profile in my head. Sometimes it is really specific (though not all the time) and that is exactly where this recipe came from. I really wanted to make roasted red peppers myself, but I didn’t just want to add them to a plate. As I thought on it more, I came up with this Roasted Red Pepper Pesto to serve with some flavorful sausage and simple pasta.
You will definitely want a good food processor to make this sauce. Without one, you will have a hard time breaking the pistachios down far enough to not leave the sauce chunky, and not in a pleasant way. While pesto is not expected to a super velvety or silky sauce, it should however be a true sauce and not on the verge of being a salsa.
Not a lot of pesto recipes include pistachios as the nut component. A classic pesto is a basil and pine nut base with garlic, and parmesan cheese. However a pesto really just has to have a fresh herb and whole nut combination. So so use cashews, some use walnuts. Some add in other fresh herbs like parsley or oregano. I went with pistachios for this sauce because it actually has a very close taste to pine nuts (without the extra cost). Just be sure that you do not get any sort of seasoned or glazed pistachios, lightly salted is okay – but make sure you taste before you add more salt to the sauce.
You could use this sauce on a lot of different dishes – obviously a pasta dish would be the first choice. But it would make a delicious pizza sauce as well. You could put it in a grilled cheese with some steak, mushrooms and mozzarella. It would be awesome in a chicken wrap. Or you could do what we did with the little bit of leftover we had the last time I made it and use it as a dip with some pita chips.
Now Let’s Get Cookin’!
Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
- 4 Large Red Bell Peppers
- 1 cup Pistachio Kernels
- 1 cup Fresh Basil
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 1 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Paprika
- ¼ cup Oil
- ½ cup Heavy Cream
- Preheat oven to 325degF.
- Place bell peppers on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Once hot, put in oven for 60 minutes. Remove peppers from oven and place in large glass bowl. Immediately cover with plastic wrap (tightly sealed) and let sweat for at least 30 minutes.
- Once peppers are cooled, remove from bowl and gently remove the skin, seeds and core.
- Add pistachios to food processor and blitz until finely ground. Add roasted red peppers one piece at a time. Once fully incorporated, add remaining ingredients to food processor. Continue to blitz until everything is fully incorporated and the you have reached the desired smoothness.
Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:
Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:
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