Garden Fresh: Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Sauce

Roasted and Rustic

I wish I could say that I plucked ripe red bell peppers out of my garden to make this; what I really did was buy a large bag of peppers at Costco. Along with a few cherry tomatoes and homegrown basil, this sauce is a great thing to have on hand for a quick meal, to serve over pasta, grilled shrimp or chicken.

I find the process of roasting peppers therapeutic; something about the way they spit and sizzle while they roast, combined with the pungent smell of charred vegetable says “delicious” to me.

My kids however, walk into the kitchen making unattractive gagging sounds when they smell them.
It must be the same instinct that compels small children to pick bits of unidentified spices out of their hot dogs. They’ll come around, someday.

Roasted Red Pepper-Basil Sauce

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 or 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 red bell peppers, roasted and peeled *
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Warm the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat; add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Transfer the garlicky oil to a food processor along with the remaining ingredients and pulse to form a chunky sauce. Taste for seasoning. Serve at room temperature over pasta or as an accompaniment to grilled seafood, meat or poultry.

Keeps up to 4 days, refrigerated.

* To roast bell peppers, place them on a sheet of foil 3 to 4 inches under a preheated broiler element (or put them on your outdoor grill rack, with the grill on medium-high direct heat). Turn them as each side turns dark brown (but not incinerated!). When they’re evenly roasted, put them in a large bowl; cover and let them steam about 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and discard the stems and seeds.

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Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food


  1. deeeeeeena says:

    I love your honestly…sometimes costco does have some great produce. did I just say that??!?!

    I’ll definately try this recipe…

  2. This looks terrific! I’d love to try it over pasta or shrimp. Mmmm. Thanks for the clear directions on roasting peppers. I’ve never done that before.

  3. Dina, it’s true! It goes against all “local” food commitments to shop there, but I try to go once or twice a month to stock up. Lemons and limes are a great deal too….

    Lynn, once you make your own roasted peppers, you’ll see it’s worth it. The ones from a jar will work in a pinch, but they just don’t taste the same.

  4. TaraTot says:

    Oh my… This sounds wonderful! I am going to have to make this for dinner tonight.

  5. I find that Costco also offers very competitive prices on athletic socks, so long as you’re willing to buy in bulk.

    Also, that fresh basil can be a great between-courses palate cleanser and breath freshener. I have a small plant I keep in a windowbox year-round.


  6. Tara – Enjoy!

    Tony – I can pick up a selection of socks for you next time I hit Costco – do you prefer 100% cotton or a blend?

    And I bet your breath is always on the sweet side, baby.

  7. Margarita Valli says:

    Costco is the only place in the West that I can buy peameal bacon for my breakfast. For dinner I would love to try this roasted tomatoe pasta. I can smell it all the way out here in British Columbia..if I close my eyes….

  8. valentinA says:

    Your sauce sounds lovely. Your kids will eventually come to enjoy it one day I’m sure;)

  9. Margarita, I didn’t know Costco was in your neck of the woods…thanks for traveling here!

    Valentina, Thanks!
    I can only hope they will realize what they’re missing sometime soon.

  10. brunosdream says:

    Roasted goodness, sounds like a winner Karen! Sorry your kids don’t see it that way….

  11. Bruno – oh well! More for me, I always say.

  12. Kristen says:

    I love the produce at Costco.
    This looks so tasty!

  13. Thanks, Kristen!

  14. Yum! That looks really yummy. Do you think it would freeze okay?

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