The Red Spread (aka Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade)

What happened to this week?  Is it already Friday?  I can’t believe it!

Parley Lake Winery will be serving delicious Catalyst Cooks food this summer… so please stop out to visit me (I’ll be managing the tasting room) and try the wine paired with homemade breads, crackers, spreads, and other bites!

I wanted to share the basic Roasted Red Pepper tapenade recipe with you- it’s one of my favorites.  I’m absolutely in love with roasted red peppers and they are so easy to make (although you can also buy them, jarred, in the store near the pickles.)  This recipe can be adjusted and adapted depending on what’s in your fridge at home… and I’ll give you some ideas at the end!

Start with – you guessed it – red pepper.  This recipe calls for two of them.

As soon as I get these babies home, I bathe them and let them dry.

When I’m ready to make the spread…

I cut each pepper in half very close to the stem.

If I do it right, it looks like this… clean on one side, and all of the seeds under the stem on the other.

That makes it easy to take the seeds, stem, and membranes out… since all I want is the delicious redness of the pepper!

After I’ve removed the seeds, stem, and membranes- it’s time to get them ready for the broiler (or the grill).

In rainy weather like today, I like to use the broiler.  My broiler is on the top of my oven so I move an oven rack to the top spot and turn the broiler on high.

While it’s warming up, I put the red peppers (skin side up) on a cookie sheet and “smash them” flat with the palm of my hand.

(If you’re using the grill, flatten the peppers in the same way, and then place them skin side down on the grill.)

Place the peppers under the broiler for about 5-10 minutes, or until the skin is blackened.

Remove the peppers from the heat, and immediately place them in a plastic baggie for ten minutes.

This step “steams” the peppers and softens the skin, to make it easy to remove the skin.

After ten minutes have passed, remove the peppers from the baggie and strip the skin off.

Be careful- the peppers are hot!

Cut the peppers into strips, and place them into your food processor or blender.

You’ll also need:

  • 2 (or more) garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons of nice Olive Oil
  • a Dash of red wine vinegar (or other vinegar)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place all of the ingredients in the food processor and let ‘er rip!

I like my dip to be less than fully blended – kind of like how coffee looks when you grind it up.

Except spreadable (unlike coffee grounds).

Of course- whatever consistency you like, you can make!

(The basic recipe above makes about 8 ounces of spread).

This recipe begs for variations.

For example, this morning I put my Red Pepper Tapenade together with my Hummus.

I also added some Feta Cheese.

I add a little something green to the top to contrast with the vibrant red color of the tapenade.  Like a parsley sprig from the kitchen herb garden.  Or a few chopped chives from the back yard.

I like to put it in a pretty bowl, on a plate, and surround the bowl with toasted bread.

This week it was my experimental homemade rye buns, sliced and toasted to a brown crisp.  Perfectly ready for a yummy spread.

Have fun with this… it pairs very well with white wines, which bring out its smokiness and richness- I especially like it with Parley Lake’s playful and fruity Brianna white!  Of course I’d also take it with our Frontenac Gris… or how about any wine….

Enjoy your weekend, folks!

3 comments to The Red Spread (aka Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade)

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