Smoked Red Bell Pepper Sauce

Written by Eydie Desser

Spicy September wouldn’t be complete without a variety of sauces to keep our dishes hot on their heels! Try this smoked red bell pepper sauce with our crab-less crab cakes for a flavor pairing that’s truly sea-worthy, or with roasted vegetables, veggie noodles, rice, or a spread for a wrap. This smoky sauce truly goes with everything!

Ingredients

  • 3 red bell peppers, seeds and core removed
  • ¼ cup raw cashews, soaked in warm water for a few hours, or until soft
  • 2 TB red wine vinegar
  • 1 TB honey
  • 1-1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1-1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

To make the Sauce:

Preheat oven to broil, and place rack in the top third of the oven:

  1. Prepare the red bell peppers:  remove the stems and slice off a little bit off the top and bottom of the peppers.  Turn the peppers facing up and slice from top to bottom on one side. Remove the seeds and flatten the peppers into a strip using your hand. 
  2. Roast the Peppers:  place the peppers on a parchment lined sheet pan, and place on the rack in the preheated oven.  Roast for about 15-20 minutes, or until the peppers are charred and the skin is wrinkled and has pulled away from the flesh.
  3. Using tongs, remove the peppers and place in a glass bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap for about 10-15 minutes, or until cool to the touch.  Using your fingers, remove the skin from the peppers.  It’s okay if a little of the charring is left as it adds a nice smoky flavor. Once peeled, coarsely chop.
  4. In the meantime, combine smoked paprika and sweet paprika and “toast” over medium heat in a small sauté pan just until the paprika releases its aroma—about 30 seconds. Remove from the pan and let cool.
  5. In a blender, place soaked cashews, paprika, red wine vinegar, honey and bell peppers and blend on high until smooth. 
  6. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.
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