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When I started canning last summer the very first recipe I flagged to make was a roasted red pepper spread. I didn’t get to make it last summer because the price of red peppers was way to expensive. Last week when I was shopping at Martin’s I found that they had a 3 pound bag of red peppers on sale for $5.00 which is a great price. I immediately grabbed up two bags and came home to can.
Imagine my disappointment when by the time I was ready to start it was over 90 degrees outside. I was lucky that three days later the temperature went down in the 70’s and I was able to finally make this spread.
The color is a gorgeous, bright red. The roasted red pepper flavors really comes through and the onions and garlic just add more flavor. I tried it on a sandwich with avocado, bacon, and turkey. It was the perfect accompaniment to the sandwich. I can’t wait to have this fresh spread in the middle of winter.
Roasted Red Pepper Spread (slightly adapted from Ball’s Blue Book Guide to Preserving)
6 lbs. sweet red peppers (about 8)
1 pound tomatoes
4 large garlic cloves
1 T. fresh parsley, minced
1 T. fresh oregano, minced
1 T. sugar (if desired)
1 t. salt
1/2 c. champagne vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Prepare 5 half pint jars and the canner for canning.
3. Cut the red peppers into quarters, removing the seeds. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the skin wrinkles and chars in spots. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
4. Place the whole tomatoes, onion cut into quarters, and whole garlic cloves in a baking dish and roast for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
5. Peel the cooled red peppers and slice into strips. Peel and seed the cooled tomatoes. Cut into chunks.
6. Peel the onion and garlic and mince.
7. Place the red peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour into a large saucepan.
8. Add the parsley, oregano, sugar, salt, and vinegar to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring to prevent sticking.
9. Reduce the heat and simmer until the spread thickens.
10. Ladle the hot spread into hot half pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Put on the 2 piece lid and screw to finger tip tight. Heat in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes with the lid on. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove the jars from the water and let cool for 12 hours then check to make sure the lids have sealed. Store for up to 1 year.