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RED PEPPER PESTO

Do you ever wonder why some recipes just taste so darn good? We happen to know the secret and want to share it with you. Here it is: Simplicity tastes good.

We pride ourselves in the simple recipes our Chefs create. One of our favorites is our Red Pepper Pesto, made completely in-house. Not many Guests have seen or tried this hidden gem, but it’s on our line and IT. IS. TASTY. Although Red Pepper Pesto is bursting with flavor, our simple recipe allows its few ingredients to shine.

How it’s done:

1)   Start by roasting red peppers on the grill, occasionally turning them for an even char on all sides.

2)   Place cooked peppers in a bowl and cover them with plastic wrap. Let them cool for 20 minutes. Covering the peppers traps the steam inside, helping to loosen the charred skin away from the peppers.

3)   Peel the charred skin off the peppers.

4)   Cut the top off the pepper and proceed to scrape out the seeds.

5)   Purée the red peppers in a blender along with the following ingredients: olive oil, garlic, basil and Parmesan cheese.

Things to note about making Red Pepper Pesto… 

1) It’s important to char the peppers. This helps cook the skins so they can easily flake away. As you cook the peppers, you’re developing the sugars of the vegetable, which turn into a sweet flavor. Charring the peppers creates a bit of smokiness, making the pesto more flavorful.

2) Ingredients can be substituted based on your taste. In fact, you can substitute red peppers with yellow, orange or spicy peppers (such as habanero or jalapeño). Also, nuts can be added to recipe. Walnuts and pine nuts work well with pesto. Any hard grated cheese can also be added to the mix. There are literally thousands of combinations depending on what tastes good to you.

3) There are mistakes you can easily avoid. 1) Undercooking the peppers. Ensure they are black all the way around or else the full flavor will not mature. You’ll know the peppers were cooked long enough if they feel soft and collapse. They can be cooked over a grill, oven or cast iron skillet. 2) Over-pureeing the ingredients. If the final product is liquidy, you know you’ve puréed too long. 3) Adding too much of any one ingredient. Taste as you go along. You can always add more later on.

We love cooking because our recipes are simple. Their simplicity is what makes them taste really good.