Dinner needed to be quick and we were talking about having some kind of pesto pasta.
I knew I wanted to make a vegan pesto and use what I already had in my pantry. Since I was out of walnuts and stocked up on raw almonds, I decided to make an almond pesto with a Mediterranean flair.
I combined almonds, roasted peppers, olives, basil, parsley, and smoked paprika and was instantly smitten with the intense flavor combo – soooo good!
I served this pesto as a sauce for pasta, tossed it with some fresh cut basil leaves and finished with a teaspoon of grated parmesan. Honestly, the cheese wasn’t even necessary. When I put the leftovers away for lunch tomorrow, I left the teaspoon of cheese off!
- Be Aware– smoked paprika is not the same as regular paprika. Even though I am only using 1/8 teaspoon, it adds a huge blast of flavor!
- I used 3 cloves of garlic because my cloves were on the small to medium size, plus I love garlic. If you want it toned down just a bit, only use 2.
- I used Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Red and Yellow Peppers. If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s or want to roast your own peppers, make sure to buy peppers free of additives and are not soaked in oil.
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Roasted Pepper and Almond Pesto
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 12 ounce jar roasted peppers drained
- 10 kalamata olives pitted
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- couple turns freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Place garlic in bowl of food processor. Process until finely chopped.
Add almonds and process until just chopped. Be sure not to over process as you want texture.
Add roasted peppers, olives, basil, parsley, salt and smoked paprika. Pulse a couple times until combined.
Slowly add in olive oil while processing.
Give a couple turns of black pepper and pulse 1x to combine.
Some serving ideas are as a pasta sauce (see notes for my quick recipe), as a spread on a sandwich or wrap or on slices of baguette with cheese. A goat cheese would pair really well with this flavor combination. Refrigerate unused portion for up to two days. Enjoy!