Tag Archives: roasted red pepper

Food Matters Project #3: Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

We’re onto our third recipe for the Food Matters Project.  I apologize for the delay, but we were out of town this weekend- and with no groceries in the fridge, it’s hard to make dinner!

Whenever I come back home, whether it’s from vacation, a work trip or just a weekend getaway, I always want something home cooked and fresh.  But it’s very difficult to have anything in the fridge if you were gone (since it’ll go bad).  Does anyone have great recipes which they make once they’re back from being out of town?  If so, I’d love to hear them (or have some links).

This week’s challenge was: Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut “Pesto”.  Mark Bittman gave some ideas on how to change up this pesto, which we did- although we also had some of our own ideas.  As he suggested, this does not only need to go onto pasta, feel free to pour it over vegetables, use it as a spread or an appetizer dip!

As with many recipes which we make, feel free to change out any ingredients which you like or don’t like, or have in your fridge or pantry.  For example, we used arugula- but spinach would be a great substitute.  Instead of pine nuts, use walnuts.  Or add some beans.  There are a million possibilities!

Heather has chosen this weeks recipe of Roasted Red Pepper Pesto.

If you’d like to see our previous Food Matters Project recipes, check them out here:
Seasoned Popcorn
Squash with Chipotle Dipping Sauce

Roasted Red Pesto
Inspired by: The Food Matters Cookbook

1 lbs dried fusilli pasta
1 16 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained
1/4 cup kalamata olives, drained
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, drained
2 cups baby arugula
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 tbsp olive oil (you can use less or more, per your taste and texture)
salt (per your tastebuds)
pepper (per your tastebuds)
1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

Add dry pasta to liberally salted, boiling water.

In a skillet over medium heat, add garlic to 1 tbsp of heated olive oil and sweat for 1 minute, being careful not to burn.  Add mushrooms, pine nuts, pepper and crushed red pepper and saute until the mushrooms are soft.  Add arugula and saute another 1-2 minutes until wilted.

Transfer mushroom/arugula mixture, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, red peppers, and grated cheese to a food processor.  Process mixture, slowly adding about 2 tablespoons olive oil until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste, then pour mixture over drained pasta and serve!

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Veggie Flatbread with Cilantro Hummus

As many of you have probably noticed through  most of these posts, we don’t eat much meat here at Fifth Floor Kitchen.  Our thoughts are that if we do want to eat meat, we prefer “happy cows/chickens/etc”.  The fact that we didn’t have any meat in our fridge came in handy this weekend.  Our fridge broke!  Well, the freezer was working, but the fridge was warm.  (Yes, the beer did not get as cold.)  It’ll be completely fixed today, at 5pm, when the Refrigerator Man comes by and changes a thermostat.  I guess these are the pleasures of home ownership?  Most of the food survived, except some of the dairy products such as: milk, sour cream and some half-and-half.  But we’re back to a happy kitchen. 

This accompanied the Cucumber Gazpacho for dinner one night.  Also very simple to make, and very springy.  The original recipe called for pita bread, but while searching for it at Whole Foods I was concentrating on the “whole wheat”.  So instead I grabbed a flatbread.  (to me, these two are fairly similar- pita bread is thinner, while the flatbread is a bit thicker and softer)  I would say this was similar to a personal pizza, it’s got veggies and cheese (but could have so much  more on it).  The only exception is the “sauce” is cilantro-hummus-flavored.  So as long as you like cilantro, this is defintely worth a try.  The veggies on this don’t need to be the same, feel free to add what you like on your flatbread. 

Veggie Flatbread with Cilantro Hummus
Inspired by: Vegetarian Times

1/2 cup cilantro leaves
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
juice of 1/2 lime
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup water
2 flatbreads (or pita’s)
2 jarred roasted red peppers, drained & sliced into strips
1 cup spinach leaves
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

To make hummus, add the cilantro and garlic into the food processor.  Turn on for about 1 minute until everything is chopped.  Then add the chickpeas, lime juice, oil and water.  Puree for 3 minutes until the mixture is creamy. 

Place the 2 flatbreads on baking sheet.  Spread each with the cilantro hummus.  Then top with peppers, mushrooms and spinach leaves.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake for about 10 minutes, the flatbread should be crisp and the cheese should be melting.

Goat Cheese and Roasted Pepper Quinoa Salad

I absolutely love “salads” that don’t exactly look like the typical salad which many think of (lettuce, croutons, dressing, veggies).  I prefer using many of the grains that are out there (quinoa, barley, couscous, etc) to make a different type of salad to take for lunch.  I have found that quinoa is the easiest (especially cooking it!), and has a great taste.

So having goat cheese in our fridge, and coming across a recipe on one of the food blogs, I tried this one out.  I also grab any new ideas to put into my quinoa salads whenever I can.  But, anything goes!

Goat Cheese & Roasted Pepper Quinoa Salad
Adapted from: Cooking After Five

2 cups of cooked quinoa
8 cups (16 oz) of fresh spinach
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp of red pepper flakes (or less/more)
1 cup of roasted red peppers, chopped
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
4 basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
6 oz goat cheese, crumbled up

With 1 teaspoon of olive oil, saute the fresh spinach for about 3-5 minutes with the minced garlic.  Once the garlic begins to wilt, add the red pepper flakes and cook for another minute or two.

Then mix all ingredients in a large bowl, except for the basil and goat cheese.  Place the salad in a bowl (or tupperwear for lunch!) and sprinkle with some basil and goat cheese.  We had 6 servings out of this for lunch.