22 April 2014

Crazy Delicious Roasted Red Pepper Sauce


A very last-minute super cheap flight deal from Philly to Zurich allowed my sister-in-law to visit us for the weekend. And when I say very last minute, I mean the flight was booked only 4 hours prior to departure. It was an impromptu, go-for-it decision that turned into a fun, whirlwind of a weekend tooling around the city, taking in the sites of Spring.

























Now it's on to a busy week, but not before sharing this amazing recipe with you. Priorities here! Jarred roasted red peppers are whizzed up in a food processor with roasted almonds, a few dried apricots, and some smoky spices to make an incredibly quick and versatile smoky, fruity, and nutty everything-sauce. Perfect for beautiful Spring days when you'd rather be spending your time outside. So far, I have used it as a dip for crackers, a spread for an open-faced sandwich, and a filling for stuffed avocado. It would also be great as a sauce for quinoa or pasta or as a spread for flatbread wraps. The possibilities are endless. Let me know if you make it - I'd love to hear the creative ways you choose to use it!



Crazy Delicious Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Makes ~ 1 1/2 cups

Notes: Ground chipotle powder is a wonderful smoky flavor booster that also adds some heat. Here, I find it at Nanna spice shop, but you should be able to find it at most large stores with a broad selection of spices or bulk spice bins. Alternatively, smoked paprika can be substituted.

1/2 cup whole, raw skinless almonds
4 dried apricots
4 large roasted red peppers (jarred)
1 clove garlic
Zest 1 lemon
1/2 bunch cilantro, with tender stems (~1/3 cup)
1 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. chipotle powder or smoked paprika (or more to taste)
few big pinches salt (~1/8 tsp)
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).

Place almonds on a baking sheet and dry roast for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden brown, tossing once halfway through. Remove from oven, cool slightly.

Add almonds, apricots, and garlic to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until everything is broken down to a fine crumb texture. Add the remaining ingredients and process until you have a thick sauce. You can leave it somewhat chunky or process until completely smooth, depending on your preference. Taste and adjust salt and spice to your liking.

Serve at room temperature. Store covered in the fridge for 2-3 days.


12 comments:

  1. I love those impromptu get togethers with loved ones and its nice to read about someone who has enjoyed seeing the in-laws!

    I am a fan of the pairing of roasted peppers and almonds but rarely use apricots in this way, your pic is utterly tempting so I will have to try the recipe! X

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    1. Thanks Deena! Yes, the visit was great, we don't do impromptu things like this enough!

      The apricots are nice in here. They can't be detected but add a background sweetness to counteract the smoky cumin and chipotle.

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  2. How lovely that you got to see your sister for Easter! It looks beautiful there, I bet you had a great time exploring together :) This sauce looks amazing! I imagine it would be lovely slathered over some falafel/lentil patties too, I'll have to try it out :)

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    1. Dearna, you nailed it!! I love this with falafels, in fact. I make a slightly different version for them, without the almonds and adding in some harissa sauce and preserved lemons. Yes, we really enjoyed showing her around. Still some snow in the mountains so took her skiing one day to round out the "Swiss" experience. ;-)

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  3. This sauce sounds fantastic! I love your addition of apricots! I must make this!

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    1. The apricots don't taste like apricots in the sauce but they add a nice fruity, floral background that compliment the sweet roasted reds. Hope you can try it out! And thanks for stopping by, Grace!

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  4. This sauce looks great! I am all about roasted red peppers :)

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    1. Thanks Cathleen! And this sauce comes together so quickly with the jarred roasted reds. ;-)

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  5. I forgot to tell you I made this a few weeks ago before my holiday, it was delicious! I made some little lentil/veggie patties to go with it, but they ended up falling apart so I tuned it into a vegan spaghetti bolagnaise over some zucchini pasta - so good!

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    1. What a fun dinner, love your idea of the vegan bolognese with zucchini pasta! So glad you liked the sauce - thanks for letting me know Dearna!

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  6. I finally got a chance to make this sauce. The full flavor is wonderful! I really enjoy the way the sweet, smokey, and nutty flavors all hang together in perfect balance. I've been enjoying it with fresh salad and quinoa for lunch.
    Also, your pictures make me happy:-)

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    1. Tess, your comment makes me happy! :-) I'm glad you like the dish, and sounds a like a perfect accompaniment to salad and quinoa.

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