Basil pesto is a magic wand in your hands. It allows you to perform wizardry on your favourite dishes, transforming them into new delights for friends and family.
Sam Linsell of Drizzle & Dip, was the inspiration behind this, our first Royal Recipe of the year! Sam adapted her recipe for Piedmontese Peppers, by adding some Pesto Princess Basil Pesto for a twist to this Italian classic.
A platter of these will stave off hunger pangs at your next braai, or form the basis of a simple supper, with a salad and some crusty bread to mop up those pesto-flavoured juices.
Michael Olivier has found a summery rosé to complement the peppers, with the rather whimsical name of Rosie D, from Doran Vineyards.
You will need
4 – 6 red peppers, deseeded with stalks intact *
130g jar Pesto Princess Basil Pesto
125g jar anchovy fillets **
500g cherry tomatoes
Basil leaves for garnishing
Olive oil, salt and pepper
* Sam says leaving the stalks on keeps the peppers intact while roasting.
** If anchovy is not your friend, you can omit for a vegetarian option which also happens to be #LCHF. Be generous with the pesto then, for depth of flavour.
Pour boiling water over the cherry tomatoes and soak until the skins can be slipped off.
Preheat the oven to 190˚C.
Place the prepared pepper halves on a greased baking dish.
Spread a generous teaspoon of basil pesto in the cavity of each pepper.
Stuff each half with 4 – 5 skinned cherry tomatoes.
Season, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and bake for an hour.
Remove from the oven and decorate with 2 anchovy fillets per pepper arranged in the traditional criss-cross pattern, and a sprinkling of fresh basil leaves.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Allow half a pepper per person as a starter, or a whole pepper as part of a simple supper.
Michael Olivier’s Choice
Doran Vineyards Rosie D 2014
Piedmontese peppers are heralders of summer and need a really summery wine as a complement.
The grapes for the Doran Vineyards Rosie D 2014 were purpose grown to make this fine rosé. Cooled and given 2 hours skin contact to give the enchanting cherry blossom pink colour.
It looks like: Quirky packaging. The wine is a soft cherry blossom pink and very enticing with dew drops down the side of the bottle.
It smells like: The red berry fruits of summer, raspberries and strawberries.
It tastes like: Crunchy watermelon. Red berries and pomegranate arils. Background notes of pink rose petals and spun sugar. Crisp. Dry. Refreshing.
Recipe, styling & photography – Sam Linsell
Art direction & design – Roxanne Spears of Good Design