My husband gets geeky-enthusiastic about good deals. Not on stuff you think most guys would be stoked to get on sale, like electronics. No, his enthusiasm is for sweet deals on food and household items like beans, maple syrup, paper towels and toilet paper. (I can’t tell you how many times he has filled the car with mega-packs of toilet paper after finding a good deal!)
When we were first together, he once returned home with a dozen green peppers. He was ecstatic, saying “I got them all for $__!” Notice I don’t recall how much Paul actually paid for them. That’s because all I could think at the time was “wat the heck do I do with a dozen green peppers?”
That was pre-vegan days, and I wasn’t even cooking from scratch a great deal. So, all I could imagine was eating a lot of stuffed green peppers. I didn’t even like green peppers that much.
Fast forward, and today I would make use of those peppers. Especially if they were red, orange, or yellow. (I still prefer those to green.) But, if a dozen green peppers landed in my kitchen, I’d roast up or grill most of them.
Even if you aren’t terribly fond of bell peppers, they undergo a bit of a transformation with roasting. Not only does it bring out their natural sweetness, it also imparts a slight smoky flavor. Another bonus: that outer skin slips off, for those that enjoy that slightly coarse pepper skin.
When sweet bell peppers go on special, I always stock up to roast them. Even if you aren’t able to use them straight away, you can refrigerate or even freeze them for later.
One of my favorite recipes is this Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Dip. Now, if you’ve only tried storebought red pepper dips… this is different. Much like the difference between storebought hummus and homemade: flavor worlds apart!
This recipe doesn’t even require a lot of roasted peppers. So, if your hubby isn’t into bulk veggie surprises, you can still make it. 😉
Enjoy! x Dreena
(p.s. if you still have a copy of the PPF pre-order ebook, this recipe is in there, so you have it “on file”!)
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Dip print/share
This red pepper dip is a little creamy without being cloying, and with a few extra flavor notes beyond the peppers themselves. Very nice with pita breads or tortilla chips, but also dynamite to spread on sandwiches, add to green wraps, or toss into pasta!
2 large red peppers (see note for roasting peppers)
pinch salt (for roasting)
1/2 cup pre-cooked white potato, cubed or roughly chopped (skins removed, not packed to measure)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tbsp mild miso (ex: brown rice or chickpea miso)
1 small clove garlic (can use more if desired)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp water (or more, optional, if needed to thin)
1/4–1/2 tsp pure maple syrup (optional, see note)
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves (optional, but very nice)
First roast the peppers. Preheat oven to broil. Core peppers and remove the seeds, cutting the pepper flesh into about 3 or 4 large pieces. Lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment, skin side up. Sprinkle with salt. Place in oven for 12–15 minutes or longer, until the peppers are well charred and blistered. Remove from oven and transfer to a glass bowl that is deep enough to hold peppers below the surface area of the bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 20–30 minutes. After this time, the peppers will have cooled and the skins will slip off easily. Remove the skins and discard. Place peppers in a blender with the potato, vinegar, tahini, nutritional yeast, miso, garlic, and salt. Puree until smooth. Depending on the liquid in the peppers and the power of your blender, you may need to thin slightly with water. Add a little at a time, 1 tbsp, puree and check consistency. Also taste to see if you’d like to add a touch of sweetener (again, that depends on the sweetness of the peppers). Finally, if you have fresh basil, puree through. Taste and adjust any seasonings. Serve at room temperature, or place in a heat-proof dish and heat in the oven until warmed through. Makes about 1 3/4 cups.
Note: If you want to use jarred roasted red peppers, that’s fine. Drain well and measure about 11/4–11/2 cups.
Note: Sweetness of bell peppers can vary based on time of year, where you buy them, etc. So, you may want the touch of maple syrup (I typically use it), but it’s optional.
Serving Ideas: Serve with a crusty loaf or baquette or a specialty bread like an olive/rosemary. Serve these breads with roasted veggies and olives. Or, with other breads and veggies for simple and customized sandwiches. Also try tossing this sauce through hot pasta, or to top cooked rice or lentils.
photo credit: miss magnificent Nicole Axworthy