c/o Gemmarosa Ryan, Staff Writer

c/o Gemmarosa Ryan, Staff Writer

For the longest time, I loathed red bell peppers. As I got older, I warmed up to them, but to this day I still remain suspicious. One of the only ways I will spoon-feed myself red-bell peppers is when they are emulsified with some sun-dried tomatoes, almonds, and copious amounts of parmesan (what some might choose to call a “pesto”). This recipe I devised is tried and true, and it will be the crown jewel of your charcuterie board, gnocchi night, or hungover egg sandwich. If you don’t have the time or energy to turn on your oven, by all means use jarred red peppers and stick with regular old raw garlic. But, as in most cases, going the extra mile really makes the difference.


  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (about 8-10 depending on size)
  • 1/2 head of garlic 
  • 1/2 cup Marcona almonds (I’ve used toasted almonds, walnuts and pine nuts too but these  almonds really add something special)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan (plus more for serving)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil 


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Core the red bell peppers and cut into quarters. Place on a baking sheet and coat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Cut the head of garlic in half lengthwise, and place the two halves in tinfoil.  Cover the garlic in about three tablespoons of olive oil and close the tinfoil. 
  • Roast the red peppers and garlic for about 30-45 minutes, or until the peppers are jammy and slightly charred and the garlic can be squeezed from its skin. 
  • Once the vegetables have slightly cooled, put the peppers and half of the garlic into a food processor or blender, making sure the roasting oil gets in there too! (Save the other half a head of garlic for whatever garlicky needs you may have)
  • Add sun-dried tomatoes, almonds, and grated parmesan to the processor along with a pinch of salt, crack of pepper, and another 2 tbsp olive oil. 
  • Blend until smooth, adding more olive oil as needed to get a smooth and emulsified consistency. 
  • Serve with your favorite pasta shape, on toast with an egg, or as a dip on your next charcuterie board. 

Gemmarosa Ryan can be reached at gryan@wesleyan.edu.

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