Roasted Red Bell Pepper Tomato Sauce

Written by Eydie Desser

Roasting is a wonderful way to maximize the flavor of vegetables, releasing their natural sugars and helping them caramelize.  The result is a sweet, nutty, toasty flavor! Yes please! This is a great trick and tip on how to make your food taste delicious without the addition of salt, oil or sugar! 

Here we serve it with steamed zucchini noodles but it’s also great on all roasted or steamed vegetables or made into a roasted bell pepper hummus. 

Ingredients

  • 3 large red bell peppers, roasted  (about 10-12 ounces each)
  • 3 medium sized Roma tomatoes roasted 
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 head garlic (roasted) = 1 TB  (see note below)
  • ¼ cup vegetable stock, no salt 
  • ¼ tsp. Sweet smoked paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar:  just a sprinkle

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450℉ & place parchment paper on a ½ sheet pan (about 17” x 12”)

Roast the Vegetables:

1- For the Bell Peppers:  Slice off ⅛” of top and bottom of the bell pepper and make a slit on one side.  Pull open the pepper up and remove the seeds and white membranes. Lay them on the prepared baking sheet and press down to flatten the peppers. 

2- Add the Roma tomatoes and the quartered red onion to the same pan. 

3- Roast the vegetables until the skins are blistered.  Don’t let the tomatoes blacken. You may need to remove them from the oven before the bell peppers are ready.  This will take about 20-30 minutes.

4- Place the cooked peppers in a small glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let steam for about 5 minutes, then scrape the skins off the peppers and discard.  Chop the onions, peppers and tomatoes being sure to save all the juices.

5- Transfer chopped vegetables to a food processor, along with vegetable stock,  1 TB of roasted garlic and smoked paprika. Puree until smooth. 

6- Taste and add freshly ground black pepper to taste, and sprinkle in some balsamic vinegar for added brightness, if needed. 

The sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance, stored in the refrigerator.  I find the flavor gets better with time…even just one hour after cooking! The flavors meld together nicely.

Note: To roast a head of garlic, first slice off the top ¼ of the bulb.  Wrap the bulb first in a small piece of parchment paper then cover with aluminum foil.  Roast in a 400℉ oven for about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Squeeze the garlic flesh from the cloves.  1 regular size head makes about 1 TB roasted garlic flesh.

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