Monday, September 21, 2009

Food for Thought--Roasted Red Pepper Puree

It's been weeks since I've done a food post. During the summer I don't cook much, just mostly grilling and salads.

Fall has arrived and that gets me thinking about harvesting my basil for pesto. I've been really concentrating on buying my produce from local farm stands but yesterday at the grocery store I found red peppers in the "slightly used" section, as my mother used to call it. I don't like to buy produce already wrapped (I want to pick the three peppers I WANT not the three they want to package together) but this was different.

The price was about $1 a pound for these beauties. I bought about 9# of red peppers with the idea of roasting them and making puree to freeze. When I got them home I was surprised that they weren't really in bad shape. Some would have still been salad quality.

I've always roasted peppers over the gas grill but I recently found a recipe for doing it in the oven. So here's the directions and how mine turned out.

1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Line a roasting pan with enough foil to later fold over the top. Place the peppers in the pan and the pan in the oven. Roast, turning the peppers about every 10 minutes, until the peppers collapse, about 40-50 minutes.

2. Fold the foil over the peppers and allow them to cool. Remove the core, skin, and seeds from each of the peppers, reserving some of the liquid. I just put the peppers into a colander with a bowl below it to catch the liquid.

3. Place the pepper slices in the container of a food processor with about 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid. Add a large pinch of salt and turn on the machine; drizzle the oil in through the feed tube. Stop the machine, then taste and add more salt and/or olive oil if necessary.

After doing the batch in the pictures, I also roasted a few on the grill after cutting the tops off and coring them. I put them into a big paper bag to cool before peeling. I still like that way better but if you don't have a grill handy or just want to do it in the house, the oven worked fine. Next time I could core them first before putting them into the oven.

From my 9# of peppers I got about 2 1/2 quarts of puree.

Here are some ideas for how to use it:

  • Add a couple of tablespoons to the cooking liquid of any simmering grain - rice, couscous, or quinoa, for example.

  • Use in place of or with tomatoes in pasta sauce. For example, saute several vegetables and bind them with purée during the last minute of cooking.

  • Fold into omelets or scrambled eggs, with or without cooked vegetables.

  • Combine with basil, grated Parmesan, and garlic for a pesto-like pasta sauce.

  • Emulsify with lemon juice, salt, and pepper to make a beautiful salad dressing.

  • Spread on crostini, bruschetta, or pizza before baking.

  • Use as a finishing sauce for roasted eggplant, zucchini, or other vegetables.

  • Serve as a condiment with grilled or roasted fish, meat, or chicken.

  • Stir into soups or stews just before serving.

  • Mash a couple of tablespoons of purée with a little olive oil, minced garlic, and cracked black pepper, into fresh, salty cheese - such as feta or goat - to make a dip for bread or vegetables.

Here's what I ended up with.

You will see that I use all sorts of glass jars recycled from my kitchen. I know I could use canning jars and I have boxes of them but I like to freeze different portions and this just works well for me.



Tammy Howard said...

Love roasted red peppers. I bet your house STILL smells good...

I like it in hummus on pitas.

Pam said...

I can't believe how inexpensive those peppers were! Also, I noticed how awesome your close up pictures are. That camera is working quite well.

Vodka Logic said...

I love that processor. Question. You freeze the peppers in the jars?

Sandy said...

Vodka Logic....I freeze all things liquid in jars…..sauce, pesto, chili. I think it preserves the flavor much better than plastic. Just be sure not to fill them to the top to allow for expansion. When I want to thaw something quickly, I either just drop the jar into warm water or even slowly in the microwave.

The processor is new and I love it, too, although I haven done much with it.

New England Girl said...

Mmmm... this all looks SO good. :)

Melissa Miller said...

~WOW! They look delicious and very healthy Sandy! I have recently changed my lifestyle and would be able to eat them minus the salt.
Thanks for sharing this with us.

~Blessings my friend, ~Melissa ;)

kaye said...


Kathy B! said...

This sounds SO good! What a fantastic idea. I bet this tastes good on just about everything. I'm definitely going to give this one a try...

Just Breathe said...

Awesome, sounds delicious.

BONNIE K said...

Kudos to you - I always say I will do stuff like this, and I never do! Wonderful price on those peppers.

Shauna said...

Looks really good!

shabby girl said...

Wow! We grill red peppers all the time, but never thought about puree-ing them!!! Awesome!
Hubby will be so very pleased!

The Redhead Riter said...

Roasted red peppers are one of my favs!

Hi There! I always enjoy reading your blog. Hope you have a great day!

I have something for you on my blog, so come over and get it.

Anonymous said...

you've never made that when i'm around! next food post: pasta salad :)


mama-face said...

Okay, Yeah, Yum. I love Red Peppers; had no idea you puree them and all their many uses. Which does not surprise me in the least.


kel said...


Kaibee said...


Laoch of Chicago said...

Good post. Thanks for posting it.

Ginger said...

Amazing! I so wish I could be like you and know what to do with different vegetables. We'd like to be more 'veggie' at our house, but most of our food (embarrassingly enough) is made by dumping the indgredients out of the box.

Feeling Fit With Dana said...

I love roasted red peppers for all kinds of recipes! It's good in hummus for sure!

Stopping by from SITS!

prashant said...

They look delicious and very healthy Sandy! I have recently changed my lifestyle and would be able to eat them minus the salt. Domain registration india

Wanda said...

Glad to be a new follower...looking forward to exploring here!


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