Sunday, January 20, 2013

Roast Tomato & Red Pepper Base

I first started doing this little recipe when I wanted to make a soup, and it was a massive success. Potentially the yummiest invented thing to come from my kitchen yet. After the soup was such a success, I thought I'd experiment with what else this recipe was good for - risotto was a massive hit.

Within the next couple weeks, I'm sure we'll make the Roast Red Pepper and Tomato Soup, but for right now I just wanted to give you the base recipe since I'm using it this week to make a risotto.

Roast Red Pepper and Tomato Base 

2 Red peppers, de-seeded and quartered
5 lbs tomatoes, halved
1 bulb garlic, head shaved off (in other words, just cut a bit off the top of the entire bulb so you can see into some of the individual cloves)
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450F.

Spread the red peppers and tomatoes closely on a 9x13 cookie sheet with sides (alternatively, you could use a roasting pan or 9x13 baking dish- really anything that is oven proof and will hold about 1/2' deep of liquid). Drizzle with olive oil.

Drizzle the bulb of garlic with olive oil and wrap tightly in foil - make sure the garlic can't be seen, feel free to go a bit overboard on the foil wrapping here. Place the foil-wrapped bulb of garlic on the baking sheet with the peppers and tomatoes.

Place the baking sheet in the oven. Leave for 2hours approximately, or until tomatoes and red peppers have sufficiently roasted. You'll be able to tell because they'll be quite soft, shriveled, and maybe even a bit blackened on the edges (no problem!)

Remove from the oven and, if not using immediately, allow to cool.

Unwrap the garlic and squeeze the garlic from the shell into a deep bowl. The garlic should be a soft paste, and will have a very warm garlic smell without the bite often associated with fresh garlic.

Add the tomatoes, peppers, and any juice/oil remaining on the baking pan to the deep bowl. Use your immersion blender to blend the concoction to a smooth soup consistency. If you don't have an immersion blender - see my entry on Sweet Potato and Chili Soup if you're interested in my opinion on immersion blenders. In summary - worth a purchase.

Use immediately in any desired recipe or store in airtight containers in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.

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