Sunday, November 7, 2010
My CSA went through a month and a half long stretch where it gave us at least 3 peppers a week, and sometimes as many as 5 or 6. Peppers are good, and we did get a nice variety of them, but it didn't take me long to run out of ideas for cooking peppers:
I really like roasted red peppers, but since I still don't have the courage to try canning (maybe next year!), there's only so many of them I can eat, even with Nathan doing his part. Pepperonata is one of my favorite recipe discoveries of 2010, but I got a little tired of that as well. Of course, peppers are a key ingredient in ratatouille, but I only got eggplant from the co-op once this summer, and the zucchini supply ended surprisingly early. With the bounty of vegetables in my fridge, I wasn't going to buy even more just to use up a pepper or two. Many a time, I resorted to throwing them into a variety of soups, with varying degrees of success. Peppers don't present quite as much of a challenge as say, kale, but I was still struggling to use them all up.
That's why I was excited when I found this recipe for romesco sauce. Red pepper is the star ingredient, but it uses tomatoes too, which the food co-op was also giving us a lot of at the time. (Actually, we were still getting tomatoes as recently as Thursday, but we're shifting to a biweekly pick up schedule, so I'm certain that was the last of them. Which is sad.)
This was really easy to make. I roasted a red pepper over the gas stove, and peeled and seeded it. I pulverized some almonds in the blender, and then added some day-old bread, garlic, a couple of tomatoes, olive oil and salt. It also called for a chili pepper, but I think I used part of a jalapeno pepper. I also substituted balsamic vinegar for the suggested sherry variety. It came together in a flash, to a nice, thick, dip-like consistency.
red pepper romesco
This was definitely very different from my usual fare. Nathan really liked it. Laura and I were a little unsure. There was something about it that I found slightly strange, but not completely off putting. The almonds added a nice nuttiness, but I think that maybe they, combined with the bread, kind of subdued the brightness of the red pepper and tomato too much? I was glad that I tried this and happy to eat it, but I wasn't so won over that I'd make it again.
Still, it beats another generic red pepper infused soup, right?
I'm going through my Flickr account and I swear to god I don't even know what this one is made of– it might not even have peppers in it. But the good news is, if I don't remember it, I don't have to blog it, right? One more dish to check off the list!