Roasted Peppers with Ricotta + Cherry Tomatoes + Arugula Basil Pesto

Roasted Peppers with Ricotta + Cherry Tomatoes + Arugula Basil Pesto

Cherry tomatoes are heavy on their vines, herbs and greens are fragrant, pepers are at their sweetest...

This is the time to harvest and devour quickly to capture that perfect moment of ripeness.  This is a recipe that encapsulates it all.

This is the simplest summer dish that can be served as a side or on its own as an elegant light meal.  You'll find   a balance of freshness from the cherry tomatoes and ricotta with the richness of the roasted pepper and pesto. Delicious. 

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

4 Red bell peppers, halved, seeds and ribs removed

4 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/4 cup Basil leaves + a few leaves set aside for garnish

2 tbsp Extra virgin olilve oil + 1 tbsp for the tomatoes

1 pint Cherry tomatoes, halved

1/3 cup Ricotta

1/4 cup Pitted green olives

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Arugula Basil Pesto

3/4 cup Basil leaves

3/4 cup Arugula, washed and dried

1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil

1 clove Garlic, cut in half

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

ROASTING THE PEPPERS

Preheat your oven to 375F.  Place the peppers, skin side down, in a shallow baking dish and top with the 4 cloves of sliced garlic.  Tear up 1/4 cup of the basil leaves over top of the peppers.  Season with the coarse salt and pepper, then drizzle with 2 tbsp of the extra virgin olive oil.  Bake until the peppers are tender, but still hold their shape and are slightly charred around the edges, about 35-45 minutes.  Let cool and set aside.

ARUGULA BASIL PESTO

While the peppers are baking, blend the remaining 3/4 cup basil, 3/4 cup of arugula, garlic clove, and the remaining 1/3 cup of oil in a food processor until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

ASSEMBLY

Place the halved cherry tomatoes in a bowl and toss with 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and season with a bit of coarse salt. Arrange the bell peppers on a platter.  Top with the seasoned cherry tomatoes.  Top with the ricotta and olives.  Tear up a few fresh basil leaves on top.  Drizzle with the pesto and finish with a touch of coarsly ground pepper and coarse salt if desired. 

A few extra notes:

  • A few things to know about our favorite salts: Fleur de Sel refers to the delicate, fine crystals that rise to the water's surface.  Best used for sprinkling over a dish just before serving.  Sea Salt Flakes are snow-white, pyramid-shaped crystals harvested from coastal waters. The most prominent producer is Maldon, which sources its flakes from the waters off Essex, England. Best used to add a hint of salt and crunch to finish dishes. Perfect for salads. Feel free to play around with these salts and substitute them into your favorite dishes.
  • Local Peppers are in season and come in so many shapes, colors, and heat levels! Dove, Hungarian, and Blue Jay are a few that can work great in this recipe. Try this dish out with your favorite local pepper, just be sure to pay attention to their thickness. Some of them can be a bit thinner and don't require as much roasting to achieve that soft yet firm finish for this dish. The heat can also vary on the peppers so make sure you test them out ahead of time so you don't surprise your guests with the spicy heat. 

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