"Serve it as a starter or with grilled steak, chicken or fish for a great spring meal," says the executive chef of Catch Steak restaurant in N.Y.C.
“Serve it as a starter or with grilled steak, chicken or fish for a great spring meal,” says the executive chef of Catch Steak restaurant in N.Y.C.
Michael Vignola’s Roasted Red Bell Peppers with Pistachio Pesto
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup unsalted pistachios, divided
1 1/2 Tbsp. kosher salt, divided
4 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
6 (5-oz.) red bell peppers
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 tsp. turbinado sugar
1. Stir together cream, 1/4 cup water, 3/4 cup pistachios and 1 tablespoon salt in a medium pot; bring to a boil over medium. Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until pistachios are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Pour cream mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl; set aside. Transfer warm pistachios to a food processor; add cheese and basil. Process until a smooth paste forms, 1 minute. Gradually add 1/4 cup cream to pistachio mixture, processing until smooth, and adding up to 1/4 cup more cream, as needed until desired consistency. Add lemon juice; process 10 seconds. Set aside.
3. Preheat oven to broil with rack positioned 5 inches from heat source. Arrange bell peppers evenly on a baking sheet. Broil until skins are burned and blackened, about 12 minutes, turning once halfway through.
4. Transfer peppers to a brown paper bag, and seal. Let stand until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
5. Remove peppers, and discard stems, skins, cores and seeds. Place peppers on platter. Drizzle evenly with oil; sprinkle with sugar and 1/2 tablespoon salt. Lightly crush 1/4 cup pistachios, and sprinkle over peppers. Dollop with pesto mixture; drizzle with balsamic and additional oil.
Quick tip! Roast peppers without an oven: If you have a gas stove, place the pepper directly on the burner turned to high heat. When one side has darkened (4 to 5 minutes), flip it with tongs, and char the other side. Repeat until pepper is blackened all over.
Active time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes