I think if there could be 24 more hours in a day, I’d be able to dabble a little bit in the many different hobbies I have an interest in.
What’s one thing you would definitely try to do (more of, maybe) if you had a few more hours during the day?
Gardening would be one of the things I’d spend some time on!
I mean, if I were to ignore the fact that nothing survives in the town we live in, then it would be a fruitful past time. (Pun intended)
I planted cherry tomatoes and basil a couple years back. I had one small harvest of the tomatoes before the plant gave up on me, but the basil was a real success. It grew plentiful and from it, I was able to harvest and propagate many more to give family and friends. Then, this year, the temperature didn’t rise leisurely like it tends to, but rose with such passion, my beautiful basil dried up in a day or two. No amount of sweet talk or personal care brought it back (both of which have been successful in the past) and since then, I have to think that my green thumb has been jinxed.
I sowed, replanted and propagated many times for the past six months, but with no luck. Finally, I bought a plant along with a bunch of fresh basil just a couple weeks back. I was desperate for some fresh bruschetta and the scent of my favorite herb.
The lush green jumbo basil, as the market called it, went into making this delicious roasted red pepper pesto. In other not so surprising news, my new basil plant has also dried up, which is pretty much what I expected especially since I’m not home to care for it personally.
But this pesto- yum, yum, yum! I’ve roasted red bell peppers plenty of times, but I still went searching and came across this fabulous blog post by Tori Avey that highlights the many different ways you can roast bell peppers. Go ahead and give it a read, it’s super helpful!
The Roasted Red Pepper Pesto is made exactly like the basic pesto- everything is added to the blender and combined till you reach the desired consistency. I’m not really a chunky sauce kinda girl, so mine is pretty smooth. I’ve replaced the pine nuts- since I didn’t have any on hand- with almonds, although walnuts can also be used.
It may be a red pepper pesto, but in no way is it even slightly spicy. Red bell peppers are sweet and roasting them helps bring out their sweet flavor. This Roasted Red Pepper Pesto has got that smoky sweetness flavor down perfectly, packed with the creamy richness of the almonds and sweet freshness of the basil- it’s the best sauce for pasta, spread for sandwiches or dip for your spoon!
If you try out this recipe, please let me know! Tag me on instagram (_littlemiracles_). Feel free to leave a comment below; let me know what you think! I love to hear from you all! Follow me on Instagram: @_littlemiracles_ or just click on the Follow Me! button on the top right hand of the page to get an email every time there’s a post!♥
- 1 cup fresh basil packed
- 3 red bell peppers
- 1/3 cup parmesan grated
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 2 cloves fresh garlic chopped
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 204ºC/400ºF. Place parchment paper/silicon mat over a cookie/baking sheet and drizzle some olive oil over it.
Wash bell peppers thoroughly and place them on their side on the baking sheet. The stems will point outward.
Roast for 20 minutes, then using tongs, turn over bell peppers to roast on the other side for another 20 minutes. The bell peppers will have softened and have black spots- slightly charred. If they are still slightly firm, then leave in oven for a couple more minutes.
Remove from oven, set on a chopping board or plate, close together, and turn a bowl over the peppers. The steam coming out of the peppers will make it fairly easy to remove the skins. Leave for 15 minutes.
Slice bell peppers in half, remove seeds and center, peel off skins and keep aside. Bell peppers tend to release a lot of liquid when left sitting, so better to place the skinned ones in a bowl.
Place washed basil along with roasted red peppers in blender. Add Parmesan, almonds, garlic, lemon juice and salt and blend until it begins to combine.
Slowly drizzle in oil, a tbsp at a time, until you've got the desired consistency, smooth and slightly thick. I found that I needed the entire 1/4 cup oil, however, it can vary. Go by your instincts.
- Pour into a sterilised bottle, refrigerate or freeze.
- A quick way to sterilise a bottle is rinse it under tap water, stick it into the microwave and heat for 30 seconds. Leave to dry.