Garlicky Pimento Pepper Spread
This post is a tale about a little glass bottle that was filled with roasted peppers, garlic and spices. It turned into some serious inspiration in the kitchen. When in France, we bought a little jar of roasted pimento pepper spread. Heaven. It was spicy, full of flavor, and a perfect condiment for the baguettes we had in constant tow. Such a simple delight, really.
Do you guys know what pimento peppers are? Or do you just think they are the little red things stuffed in olives? Wrong. They actually are peppers. They are pretty tough to find raw, in regular grocery markets. But check out your farmers market or specialty store, they might have just what ya need. While similar to bell peppers, pimentos are generally sweeter but some varieties are spicy. The recipe below calls for a combo of both heat and sweet, but you could just use bell peppers if you can't find pimentos.
As I've mentioned several times, my mom and grandma focused a majority of their cooking efforts on Italian food (no complaints here). So peppers always seem to pop up in family cuisine. Roasted, fried, stuffed with sausage. Garlic. Onion. Etc. So I made this for my grandma when she came to Chicago to visit. I would say that she loved it, but I don't actually remember if she did. She was more captivated looking out the window at the bustling Chicago street filled with buses (how exciting!), and crazy bikers.
Anyhow, all you've gotta to with this recipe is throw everything on the baking sheet, pull it out and puree it. Done. Super simple and really delicious.Make sure to serve it with some crusty baguette, and a nice spread of cheeses, meats and olives. Bon Appétit! (Don't forget the wine!)
6-7 pimento peppers (a variety of hot and sweet, whole)
1 head garlic (unpeeled)
1 onion (halved)
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pimento peppers, whole head of garlic and onion on a baking sheet and place in oven. Roast for about 25-30 minutes. You can see if they are done by pressing the garlic to see if it is soft, and the peppers should be starting to brown, and be nice and soft.
Let cool. Remove seeds and skin from the peppers and toss into a food processor. Squeeze the garlic out of the skin, and peel the onion. Put into the food process and pulse everything together. Add salt and pepper and pulse again. Stream in the olive oil as the food processor is running. Taste, and adjust seasoning. Serve hot or cold!