Red pepper dip, pasta sauce, potato filling
This sauce can go with so many things… as a baked potato filling, a pasta sauce, a dip, in Buddha bowls. So healthy !
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Ok we discovered this at Christmas time… hence the tree shaped carrot dips !
Essential Kitchen tools
A hand blender with small processor / chopping bowl
Roasted Red Pepper sauce for everything.
The short, to the point, recipe… using hands and spoons !
Does it bother you when you have to scroll for miles and miles down a page to get to the actual recipe. Then you have to find your measuring spoons, cups etc . Well, not this time. This is the short version I can remember easily when I can’t be bothered to even look up my own post. So I know some of you will appreciate this too.
Blend a handful of cashews to as fine a powder you can… I used my Bamix Swissline hand blender, this is a perfect job for it’s mini-processor & powder disk !
Then blend into the powdered cashews …
a roasted pepper, with skin if you like a charred taste remove seeds & core
a few roasted garlic cloves
a dessert spoon of cream cheese aka a tablespoon !
a dollop of olive oil to loosen it up a bit
Use more liquid of your choice (oil, water, stock, milk ) to make the dip thinner. If you only want a sauce for pasta, just add, or substitute the cream cheese with milk of your choice.
SERVE… with carrot batons, chips, or crisps, or a baked potato, or pasta.
Ooops, I forgot the optional squeeze of tomato paste ! I can’t believe I have simplified it even more and it still tasted amazing. For the full ingredients and method read on…
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup cashews ground into a fine powder
1/2 cup cream cheese ( vegan or otherwise) . If you are just making a sauce you could substitute this for a milk (plant milk / nut milk)
1/4 cup olive oil ( extra virgin)
3-4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon tomato paste/ purée (optional but recommended)
Salt n pepper to taste.
The full method
2. Rub some olive oil on the skin of the pepper. Then Roast it on the oven rack for 30 mins at 450F, or roast it over a gas stove till skin is blackened.
3. Allow pepper to cool and then remove most of the charred skin and the stem and inside core and seeds.
4. Mix together the red pepper , garlic, cream cheese, cashew powder, oil, tomato paste, seasoning. Blend till smooth.
In your store cupboard: Olive oil, cashew nuts, tomato purée paste, pasta
In your fridge: Cream cheese and / or a milk you like.
In the vegetable drawer: large red pepper, garlic cloves, carrots or celery for dipping, or potatoes for baking or making dipping chips or crisps with.
Preparation tips / mise en place:
The base is just roasted red pepper and garlic. We have such dark red peppers here in Spain and I love to find ways to use them. So I don’t always wait till I want this scrumptuous dish to cook it from scratch. I like to make use of the oven when it’s being used for anything else, so I have some ready prepared yummy red peppers and garlic easy to grab from the fridge.
TIP: The pepper also oozes a delicious juice so don’t lose it ! Use this in your dish too.
TIP: I like to use cashews to make things creamy and still stay healthy ! Once I open a big bag of cashews I decant them into large jars. I also save any left over ground nuts in smaller jars for next time.
We use the unsalted cashew nut variety for cooking like this. Often in the supermarkets we only see the salted or roasted variety, but if you head into more ethnic stores or go online you can get a lot more unsalted (raw) cashews for your money.
serving suggestion: serve as a dip with a nice glass of wine at aperitif time, as an easy filling for a light jacket potato dinner, or as an alternative ‘red’ sauce for the kids with spaggetti.
So versatile !
I initially made this as a pasta sauce. I was keen to try it out with my white cabbage strips pasta substitute ( Paul cringes at the thought…apologies to any Italians out there !) , but… we found after being in the fridge overnight the cream cheese and cashews made it nice and thick and it ended up as a dip over Christmas when we craved some raw veggies to dip in it. Carrots here are huge, like horse carrots.
For a sauce, you could just dilute it with milk, stock or water to make it more saucy! unch just now and I just had to let you all know immediately ! The remaining portions are cooling down ready to go into the freezer for another day’s treat.
I came across this recipe from @hello.kalin a few weeks ago and have to share it ! Found it through @Vegadishes. I have to say I didn’t go all the way with the vegan cream cheese but used a Convenient light Philadelphia cheese I had in the fridge. We always keep a pot now to make up some Parma/Serrano ham rolls for aperitif time ( reminds us of Amsterdam ). I would have tried vegan cream cheese but honestly I’ve also never seen ( or looked for it !) but I’ll look out for it now.