Thursday, August 13, 2015

Roasted Red Pepper Spread

There aren't many things that I can or preserve that I'm selfish about. I'm happy to share what I make with any one of my friends and family...EXCEPT this Roasted Red Pepper Spread. This baby is mine, mine, mine!

It's kind of involved to make it, and 6 lbs. of red bell peppers is A LOT to deal with for just 5-6 half pints, which is part of why I hoard it. Secondly, this stuff is gooooood! It's more of a bruschetta-type relish that just aches for some crusty bread, some goat cheese, and a bottle of red wine.

I particularly like to use it as a base for homemade pizza.

Last night, I spread it on some pizza dough and topped it with some crumbled goat cheese, a little garlic powder, some Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and then baked it on a pizza stone at 425° for 25-30 minutes. After baking, it got a drizzle with some smoked olive oil. YUM!

Roasted Red Pepper Spread
Recipe Source: Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Makes 5-6 half pints

6 lbs. large, red, sweet bell peppers
1 lb. Roma tomatoes, cored and sliced in half lengthwise
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 small white onion, peeled and sliced in half
2 tablespoon minced, fresh basil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup red wine vinegar

Preheat oven broiler to high and set an oven rack 6 inches from broiler element. Prepare red bell peppers for roasting by cutting off the tops and bottoms of the peppers, removing the seeds and ribs, and slitting the peppers from top to bottom so they will unroll and lay flat on a cookie sheet. Place skin-side up on a cookie sheet.

Roast peppers for approximately 15 minutes, or until the skins are black and charred. Remove from oven and place a dish towel over the peppers to allow to steam and cool. This is important, as steaming will help the skins peel off easier.

On a separate (or the same sheet if you have room) cookie sheet, place tomatoes skin-side up, garlic cloves, and onion, and roast for approximately 15 minutes, or until tomato skins are black and charred. Remove from oven and place a dish towel over the tomatoes to allow to steam and cool.

Once peppers and tomatoes are cooled, peel and discard skins. Place peppers and tomatoes in a food processor and pulse till finely chopped, but not pureed. Finely mince roasted garlic and onion separately with a knife. Measure 1/4 cup of the onion and set aside.

Combine chopped peppers, tomatoes, 1/4 cup onion, minced garlic cloves and the remaining ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, stir to prevent sticking. Reduce heat and simmer until spread thickens and will mound up on a spoon. Ladle hot spread into prepared canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace, and process in a BWB for 10 minutes.

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