Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut “Pesto” – Food Matters

Red Pepper and Walnut "Pesto"

Red Pepper and Walnut "Pesto"


It does my heart good to belong to a group of bloggers who are blogging healthy food recipes. This week, participants in the Food Matters Project are making Mark Bittman’s recipe for red pepper and walnut “pesto.” Mark, by the way, is a food journalist for the New York Times, and author of Food Matters, and The Food Matters Cookbook.

Those of you who know me and follow me know how I love red bell peppers. You may remember these recipes: red bell peppers for your wrinkles, samfaina, and red bell pepper sauce. My first reaction was “Yippie!” when I saw that my friend Heather chose red pepper and walnut “pesto” as this week’s recipe. My second thought was, “I can’t wait to try it.” The best part is, this dip is a healthy food. You may as well call it “anti-oxidant dip” because all the ingredients are terrific anti-inflammatory foods. I didn’t wait long make it this appetizer, and man is it yummy! It’s a good thing my husband and I contained ourselves or we would have eaten the whole flaming bowl before our guests arrived for dinner.

*Note – I cut the recipe to about one-third the original recipe, and I modified the recipe to use a bit less of the olive oil. You will find the original recipe in its entirety at Heather’s blog, Girlichef. You make also want to check the Food Matters Project to see what other bloggers have done with the recipe.


Prep Time: 5 minutes (if you have roasted peppers on hand)

Servings: 2 to 3 people

Making ppepper pesto

Making pepper pesto

Yield 1-1/4 cup


1 clove garlic

1/3 cup walnuts

3 whole, roasted red bell peppers, peeled

2 tablespoons olive oil


1) Pulse the garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the walnuts and pulse 2-3 times more to break up any large pieces.

2) Add the bell peppers and process, streaming the olive oil as you go, until all the ingredients are well combined and as coarse or as smooth as you want them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately with crudités, crostini, or vegetable chips, or spread on sandwiches or cover and refrigerate for a day or so, or freeze.