This red pepper pesto recipe is one that my family requests over and over again. The pesto, once made, can be stored in the fridge (although ours rarely lasts long) and is great for snacking, entertaining, or can pull together a quick dinner.
Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Recipe
Adapted from the Vitamix Create Recipe Book
- 2-3 red bell peppers
- 1 head of garlic, divided use
- 3/4 cup (75 g) walnuts
- 1/2 cup (27 g) sun-dried or oven-dried tomatoes
- 2/3 cup (20 g) fresh basil or 1 oz prepared pesto (previously frozen fine)
- 1/2 cup (50 g) grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Halve and trim red peppers, place skin side down on baking sheet, lined with a silicone mat, or directly on oven rack. (Energy saving tip: try fitting in a toaster oven.) Slice the uppermost portion of the head of garlic off, so that the tops of several cloves are visible. Reserve the top for later use. Sprinkle with a touch of salt and pepper and a few drops of olive oil. Wrap the garlic in foil and add to the oven. After 20 minutes or so, check on peppers. Cook until the skin starts to blister and darken. Immediately place in a covered bowl or sealed bag so the steam helps loosen the skin. (See this post on Spanish Tuna Stuffed Peppers for a photo of this technique.) Cook garlic for 45 minutes or until soft. Once the peppers are cool, peel of the skin, reserving any liquid.
2. Measure out 6 ounces (270 g) of roasted bell peppers.
3. Place in a good blender along with a little bit of their liquid, the roasted garlic, the reserved bits of raw garlic, and the rest of the ingredients.
4. Blend. For reference, on a variable speed Vitamix, start on variable “1”, slowly increase speed to “3”, and blend for 30 seconds or until desired consistency.
This is just amazing on bread and makes a great appetizer for entertaining. For a quick dinner, toss over pasta and shrimp. Add any extra roasted peppers, too! (I might add peas next time for a bit of fresh green.)
“Semi-Homemade” Time Saving Tips:
I have also made this using roasted, peeled bell peppers in the jar from Trader Joe’s. Instead of roasting the garlic, you can just use 2 cloves of raw garlic. I use frozen, peeled, uncooked red Australian shrimp from Trader Joe’s. I usually have a bag in my freezer.