roasted bell pepper and cashew pesto
Why buy pesto at a supermarket when you can make so many delicious varieties at home? I love to experiment with different pairings — I always use a fresh herb, a vegetable and a nut. Add some lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and seasonings and you have a creamy, nutritious and healthy pesto to top your favorite pasta with or use as a dip or sauce for any buddha bowl. Roasted bell peppers are one of my favorite pesto ingredients — I love their smokey flavor and creaminess when blended with cashews and basil in this recipe. You can also used store-bought roasted peppers in this recipe if that’s all you have on hand, or swap the cashews for pine nuts.
- 2 large red bell peppers
- ½ cup cashews
- 1 small garlic clove
- Handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 200°C/390°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the tops off of the bell peppers and remove seeds. Cut the bell peppers in half and place them skin side up on the baking sheet. Lightly coat with olive oil and roast for 30 minutes until the skin becomes charred. Remove from oven and seal the bell peppers in a plastic bag for 20 minutes, so that the steam softens the skin.
- While the bell peppers are roasting, soak the cashews in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain.
- Remove the skins from the bell peppers (they should come off very easily) and put the bell peppers in a food processor. Add the pre-soaked cashews, garlic, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Blend.