Red Pepper Puree

This is a miracle recipe. It’s simple to make, and you can use it for so many things — atop crackers or toasted French bread for an appetizer (ooh — try it with goats cheese!), as a topping for chicken or fish, or mixed with chopped tomatoes for a pasta sauce. All you need are four red bell peppers.

Heat the oven to 475F/245C.

Arrange the whole peppers in a roasting tray and roast for 35-40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes as the peppers blacken. Remove when peppers have collapsed.

Cover the tray with foil and let the peppers cool.

Working over a bowl to catch the liquid, remove the peppers’ skin, core, and seeds. Put the pulp in a food processor, add a large pinch of salt, and puree.

You can easily adjust the flavors by adding cumin, grated ginger, minced garlic, chili pepper, fennel… or whatever you like.

Yield: About 1 cup.

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