Monday, August 27, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Dip (or Spread)

We had some people over for a cookout yesterday, and I made this dip and some Vienna bread.  Even my friends who don't like peppers raved about it.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

2 red peppers
8 oz cream cheese
2 gloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt

To roast the red peppers, cut them in half and seed them.  Then put them on a baking sheet, cut side down, and roast for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.  They are done when the skins start to blacken and blister.  Put them into a casserole dish or bowl and cover it, and let cool for 20 minutes or so. Peel the skin off and discard.

Put the peppers, cream cheese, garlic, salt, and lemon juice into the food processor and process until everything is blended.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Marinara with Homegrown Tomatoes

I used to think of spaghetti as a cold-weather meal.  I had no idea how easy it was to make sauce for pasta from fresh tomatoes. This recipe is light enough for a summer meal. For heartier fare, we sometimes serve with meatballs or sausage.

My favorite marinara sauce came from the Vitamix web site, but it seems to have disappeared. Fortunately, I wrote down the few slight changes I made to the original, so here's what I do:

Marinara with Homegrown Tomatoes

Put the following into the blender container in the order listed:
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic or one clove elephant garlic
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into eighths 
  •  2 pounds fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano (or 1 tsp fresh)
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Blend on medium speed for 15-30 seconds.  Pour into a pot. Add a bay leaf and simmer for 30 minutes.