Pepper Power Pesto!

Prep Time:5 mins, Cook Time: 15 mins , Total Time: 20 mins + resting time for the peppers

October 7, 2014

Eat Your Veg | Red Pepper Pesto

Next up in my ‘Pepper Power’ series of family-friendly pepper recipes, a homemade Roasted Red Pepper Pesto. Kids generally* go a bit loopy for pesto and pasta, so why not make your own? A total cinch to make and with the added inclusion of lots of lovely roasted red peppers this is IMG_0419a particularly tasty and nutritious recipe. *As I said ‘generally’ kids just can’t get enough pesto but there’s always the exception and Frannie just happens to be one of them, along with the other stalwart children’s heros of pizza and macaroni cheese she’s just never liked it. Maybe it’s the greenery I don’t know but with the addition of peppers she’s suddenly a fan. A right royal result in the Foti household I can tell you. Jacques on the other hand LOVES all thing’s pesto, or ‘green sauce’ as he calls it, and would happily scoff it by the tablespoon given half a chance. I know!.

IMG_0438Stir in a few halved cherry tomatoes and peas for easy added nutrition, or cooked sliced green beans, courgette, broccoli, sweetcorn or any other veggie that takes your children’s fancy.  Serve the pesto liberally ran through wholewheat pasta if you can too, the refined white stuff’s had all the nutrients and fiber stripped away and without the fiber quickly converts to sugar in the digestive system. Apart from when out and about we rarely eat white refined pasta any more, and it’s such an easy substitution to make.

This pesto also makes for a tasty and healthy sandwich, wrap or pitta filling, especially combined with a few crunchy salad ingredients (think sliced courgettes, cucumber, peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, grated carrots etc). And spreads and eats like a tasty vegetarian pate too, try spreading on wholemeal toast or bread for a healthy after school snack.

Here’s a few of my other recent pasta recipes:

Eat Your Veg | Wholewheat Broccoli Pasta

Quickie Broccoli Pasta

Roasted Veggie Pasta Bake

Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheesy Pasta Bake

Easy Peasy Meatballs for Kids

Eat Your Veg | Roasted Veggie Pasta BakeSimple Tomato & Veggie Pasta Sauce

Minestrone Super Soup

Kids 5-a-Day Bolognese

Smoked Salmon & Courgette Carbonara



To learn about my recent visit to Thanet Earth in Kent, one of the UK’s biggest glass house pepper growing farms, do read here. And for plenty more family-friendly tempting pepper recipes check out the Colourful Taste site.


Eat Your Veg | Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

The Good Stuff:

Peppers, Garlic, Basil/Parsley, Walnuts/Hazelnuts/Almonds, Rapeseed Oil

Great For:

Babies 9-12 months*, Toddlers*, Big Kids, Grown Ups, Family Dinners, Lunch, Pasta, Sandwiches, Wraps, Dips, Vegetarians


* Please no salt if making for babies or toddlers
Serve with wholemeal pasta
Stores in the fridge for up to 1 week

Special Equipment:

A food processor or hand held stick blender.

Pepper Power Pesto!

Ingredients Prep Time:5 mins, Cook Time: 15 mins , Total Time: 20 mins + resting time for the peppers

To make a large jar:
3 red peppers
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
30g bunch fresh basil or parsley, including stalks
100g walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds of a mixture of all three
50g Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese, finely grated
2 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
a pinch each of salt and pepper*

1) Slice the peppers in half lengthways, remove the stalk and seeds and place cut side down on a grill pan.
2) Grill on a high heat for 15 minutes until the skins are blackened all over, you may need to jiggle the peppers around a little to catch all sides. Remove from the grill pan, place in a bowl and cover with cling film for a further 10 minutes.
3) Meanwhile place all the other ingredients in a food processor or a bowl if using a stick blender. Add no salt and a little less pepper if serving to babies or toddlers.
4) Peel the blackened skin off the peppers and discard. Roughly chop the pepper flesh and add to the other ingredients.
5) Whiz with a stick blender or pulse in a food processor until smooth for babies or toddlers but try not to over-blend for older children or adults as it’s nice to have a few small nutty lumps and bumps in your pesto.

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4 thoughts on “Pepper Power Pesto!

  1. Choclette

    Ooh yes please Lou, I’d be up for a jar or two of that. Mind you the only pesto I made this year got shoved to the back of the fridge and was only discovered three months later – it didn’t look too healthy 🙁



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