This year I decided to wear a new hat aside from just the ‘mom, blogger, fitness instructor overall caretaker of things’ one. This one is ‘gardener’. Truthfully, I’ve never had a green thumb. My biggest achievement has been keeping alive some kind of vine looking house plant. Seriously, I actually forget what kind of plant it is. This year though, after a failed attempt last year, I waited for the perfect conditions and had at it, again. I went in full force, and by full force I mean prepped the soil, spaced everything properly, buried the seeds at the correct depth and labeled everything precisely.
And then it rained.
That same night I had planted my garden the skies opened up and although the seeds were in their glory my plant markers were not, as you know rain and anything ink related don’t mix. So, by morning my markers had been wiped clean away. (Yes it was a permanent marker, too, for those of you thinking I used a Crayola marker.) And if you know me this spells imminent disaster as I have the worst case of ‘mommy-brain’.
The old me would have thrown in the towel at the very sight of it, or the shovel for that matter, but the new me, the one who has been determined to grow her own veggies wasn’t about to let a little rain stop her. I decided to just go with it. I would choose the approach of waiting to see what popped up and then (hopefully) be able to use the all knowing internet for some guidance as to what was a plant versus a weed.
I was unaware they all basically look the same. (Queue several swear words, tossing of potential weeds, ripping up a questionable vegetable plant by mistake, followed by more vulgar language.)
Jumping ahead a few weeks, some lengthy hours of watering, some occasional oohing and awwing and the need for a good manicure I’m happy to report that that pretty basil adorning this Roasted Red Pepper Sauce came from my garden of questionable things. (That’s what I’ve been calling it since I still have no idea what I’m growing.)
I mean, sure, basil, you avid garden aficionados are probably poo pooing my little tiny green leaves. Well I’ll have you know that those little leaves are basically taking over half of my garden (I honestly don’t even remember planting that much) so there’s a good chance you’ll be seeing A LOT of recipes with basil in it this summer.
Even though I may end up with some peppers, tomatoes, corn, squash, carrots or even nothing at all at least I got basil out of my efforts! And in the meantime, as we wait, you can savor this yummy sauce. Plus, if you are growing bell peppers this summer it’s a great way to use up your stash! I love this sauce over Trader Joe’s Cauliflower gnocchi or zucchini noodles (also a great garden staple!).
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Author: The Hungry Happy Mama
Makes: about 3 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 2 large red bell peppers
- 1/2 small to medium sweet onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- sea salt + pepper to taste
- pinch crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
- gluten-free pasta, gnocchi, or zucchini noodles to serve
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with foil or an oven-safe liner and set aside.
- Wash and slice the peppers in half length-wise and remove the seeds.
- Slice the onion into large chunks.
- Lay the peppers and onion onto the pan and brush with oil and a pinch of sea salt.
- Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes until fork tender.
- When ready, remove the pan from the oven and allow the veggies to cool slightly.
- Add the peppers, onions, diced tomatoes, and spices to a blender or food processor and pulse until well blended or you achieve your desired consistency.
- Pour the sauce into a pan and bring to a light simmer on the stove over medium-low heat (about 5-10 minutes).
- Toss with your favorite pasta, gnocchi, or zucchini noodles!
Storing: Keep leftover sauce in a tightly sealed container the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for a longer shelf life.
Note: This sauce doubles as an awesome veggie dip, spread for toasted baguettes or even as a marinade for chicken.