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.