Use this sauce with grilled or roasted fish or shellfish, on roasted potatoes, on crostini, with eggs, or stirred into a soup. I love roasting peppers on a covered gas grill, but if you have another method you prefer, use it.

Yields about 1¼ cups 


2 large red bell peppers (about 6 to 7 ounces each for 13 to 14 ounces total)
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more if you like
1 large garlic clove
6 large basil leaves, plus a few small leaves for garnish
Kosher salt
¼ cup chopped toasted almonds
½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
2 to 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 to 4 teaspoons orange juice
½ cup torn bread

1. Heat a gas grill to high and scrape the grill grates. Arrange the peppers on the grate, cover, and cook, turning every few minutes, until the peppers are blistered and the skin is mostly blackened, about 15 to 18 minutes.

2. Transfer the peppers to a non-reactive bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the peppers sit for at least 15 minutes (they are easiest to handle at room temperature). Set a strainer inside of a bowl and peel and seed the peppers over it. (Save the collected juices below the strainer.)

3. In a food processor, combine the garlic, basil, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and toasted almonds and pulse again. Add the peppers, the reserved pepper juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons of the balsamic vinegar, and 2 teaspoons of the orange juice. Pulse again until well-chopped. Add the bread and 3 more tablespoons olive oil and process well. The mixture will be thick but should have a light texture.

4. Add up to a couple teaspoons more orange juice and/or balsamic vinegar, to taste. Add salt, to taste. If desired, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil, but don’t dilute the flavor too much. If not using right away, store the sauce tightly covered in the fridge.