This is one of the original recipes in my repertoire. In fact, it isn’t actually a baby food recipe at all…but it’s puréed and sweet and just happens to be a perfect first food for baby!
I’ll admit this recipe is somewhat time consuming, however, it is fool proof, delicious, versatile, and also freezes well. I make a large batch every time I make this and store it in individual tupperware, baby cubes, or in an ice cube tray and remove from the freezer as needed. You wouldn’t believe how many ways you can fit this dip into various recipes.
Take a look at these options:
1.) Mix into pasta sauces.
2.) Mix with meat and fish purées for baby.
3.) Stir into rice, coucous, or quinoa dishes to add a kick of flavour.
4.) Use as a dipping sauce for veggies, such as carrots.
5.) Add more flavour to soups by adding dip instead of salty bouillon cubes.
6.) Mix with crumbled goat or blue cheese and serve warm with nachos.
7.) Use AS a pasta sauce, adding sautéed eggplant, zucchini, and fresh mozzarella.
8.) Use a garnish for a “caprese” salad instead of using basil or pesto.
9.) Make a “roasted red pepper” herbed butter to spread on crostini or focaccia.
10.) Mix with another favourite dip, such as artichoke dip or homemade pesto.
11.) Spread on grilled veggies, such as eggplant, zucchini, and asparagus.
12.) Put a dollop on a baked potato.
13.) Spread on pizza instead of using plain old marinara sauce.
14.) Use as a dip for grilled chicken, lamb or steaks.
15.) Stir into scrambled eggs with crumbled feta cheese.
16.) Use it as a spread for sandwiches and wraps instead of mayo.
17.) Freeze it in baby cubes and defrost as needed!
18.) Add to hummus to add some extra sweetness.
19.) Use it in meatloaf instead of using salsa or ketchup.
20.) Mix into vegetable or lentil stews.
(Makes about 1 cup)
5 lg. red peppers
about 1/2 cup fresh basil
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tbsp.extra-virgin olive
hot red pepper flakes, to taste (optional if baby is used to spice!)
*You can also add about 1/4 cup of cashews or walnuts for a thicker consistency.
Set oven to broil. In the meantime, chop peppers in half and remove seeds and white flesh on the inside. Spread peppers (skin side-up) on a very large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Broil on high for about 12-15 minutes or until fork tender.
Don’t worry about the skin burning-it’ll be peeled off anyway. Besides, it’s what gives the peppers their delicious flavour!
Set aside until cool enough to handle. Once cooled, simply peel off the skins (they should peel off very easily.) then discard them.
It might look like a lot but once it’s puréed it will reduce by half.
Place peppers in a small food processor. Add olive oil and basil and blend for 1-2 minutes or until well combined. If desired, add salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes (you might want to remove baby’s portion before doing so!).
Serve on toasted crostini…or take your pick from the options listed above!