“… the way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world. Daily, our eating turns nature into culture, transforming the body of the world into our bodies and minds.” 
Michael Pollan

Roasted bell pepper pesto Roasted Red Bell Pepper Pesto is what my roasted bell peppers were headed for! It’s strange how winter in the subcontinent is different from winter in the west. Come winter and the local bazaars are flooded with the best of fresh produce. It’s the time of the year when colours paint the vegetable shops in brilliant hues. It’s time for bell peppers, celery, broccoli, strawberries, cape gooseberries, mustard greens, fenugreek, garlic greens, beets and beet greens, juicy tomatoes ... and of course truckloads of cauliflower!

herbs veggies fruitsThis year we’ve had a deluge of local bell peppers. At a dollar and a half a kilo, these beauties are a steal. I toss bell peppers into just about everything. The kids thankfully love them in every form, the dog is a willing accomplice too. Any obliging little bits that jump off the chopping board head straight into Coco’s greedy little mouth!

Roasted bell peppersEach time I bake something, I throw in a few peppers  to roast alongside. I love char grilling them; sometimes use the Air Fryer when the oven isn’t on! Roasted bell peppers work well in tossed into pastas, in salads, in sandwiches, on bruschetta, also in pasta sauces.

Roasted bell pepper pesto Which brings me to the pesto. It’s absolutely brilliant and so adaptable! Play around with the ingredients as you like. Use the pesto in a pasta sauce, as a sandwich spread, as a dip, thin it out as a salad dressing, add it to a chicken bake, in quesadillas, with kebabs, stuff it into roast potatoes, even add it to soup …. it never fails to please!

Roasted bell pepper pesto I LOVE it paired with peppery arugula which is growing with wild abandon in my very neglected patch. Add a little feta, maybe caramelised onions, some smoked chicken ham to please the kids …. and I’m in business! I love a good green pesto too, and you can well imagine where my next bunch of arugula is headed! What is your most fun way to use pesto? And which pesto do you love the most?

Nirlep Anodized CookwarePlease don’t forget to enter the ‘Nirlep Handi giveaway‘ if you have an Indian address. I’ve been cooking up a storm in mine. You could soon be doing the same very soon! The giveaway ends tomorrow!

[print_this]Recipe: Roasted Red Bell Pepper Pesto 
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Summary:  Fire up your tastebuds with this simple and fingerlicking good Red Bell Pepper Pesto. Play around with the ingredients to suit your tastes. 

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes {plus cooling time}

  • 200g red bell peppers {3 small}
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • Small bunch fresh oregano
  • 25g almonds with skin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 35g extra virgin olive oil
  • 15g balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of ½ lime


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the bell peppers and full head of garlic on a baking tray. Roast / char grill the bell peppers until the skin blisters and gets black, about 25 minutes. Place in a bowl, cover lightly with a kitchen towel and allow to cool. Tip: You can grill peppers in the oven while baking a cake etc to save energy.
  2. Peel the skin off, remove the seeds and place in bowl of food processor. Squeeze out the roasted garlic from the pods and put into processor.
  3. Add the oregano, almonds, salt and balsamic vinegar. Process until you get a chunky puree. Drizzle in oil and process again. Add lime juice and mix.
  4. Reserve in a jar. This will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, and can be made ahead.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

“Ingredients are not sacred. The art of cuisine is sacred.”
Tanith Tyrr

Savoury Chicken GaletteIt was a savoury chicken galette waiting to happen, or maybe wanting to be baked. It’s a result of blogger interactions, loads of food talk, some food cravings, events missed and repented, flavours virtually thrown into the air and talked about….Savoury Chicken GaletteI missed a picnic a few weeks ago with the Delhi food bloggers bunch. There was so much talk about food, what who was making, baking, getting,  that I had pangs …not hunger pangs but pangs of missing out on something good!  The Great Cookaroo threw in yolks after yolks to make her to go pastry cream from Dorie Greenspans Baking with Julia. I had the book on the shelf. A favourite from a favourite food blogger who gifted it to me from Bangalore. {Thank you again Suma!}

Savoury Chicken Galette Then there was talk of pickled green garlic pesto which immediately threw my tastebuds in overdrive … that sounded drop dead delicious. I wanted some! My chance soon came as a bunch of us met again at the Ty.phoo Tea & Food pairing eventSangeeta  carried a bottle of pickled green garlic pesto for me.

Savoury Chicken Galette with green garlic pestoSmothered on a toast the next morning, it had a comforting homey feel! It had all the hints of the green chutney sandwiches my dad often made … beautiful flavours that teased the palette. As I sat in the kitchen, the laundry machine whirring punishingly in the background, I reached out for Baking with Julia! The book is a winner. Read it, bake from it, drool over it, learn from it. I wanted to bake something savoury that morning, and settled for Cheese & Tomato Galette!

Savoury Chicken Galette The galette dough was done in seconds, a Flo Baker recipe from the book. Don’t you love a dough that comes together in a heartbeat, is fuss free, smooth, pliable and uses pantry staples? I didn’t even need to rest it since it held beautifully, winter ensuring a fridge like cold kitchen. {Feedback from batch #2: An overnight rest in the fridge yields a pliable nice dough too.}

Savoury Chicken Galette I used everything I had on hand! Pickled green garlic pesto, mozzarella, chicken salami, then some roasted onion balsamic jam, cherry tomatoes, smoked sea salt, pepper. Finished it off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and fresh garlic greens.

Savoury Chicken GaletteThe green garlic pesto was a bit spicy / chili for the younger fellow, but hit all the right spots with the daughter and husband who love everything chili! You can find the recipe for the Pickled Green Garlic Pesto {or lehsun ka achaar} on Sangeeta’s blog. Use extra virgin olive oil to get a more pesto like feel to it {as she did for my batch}, and reduce the chilies if you don’t like it too hot! BTW, Sangeeta does great personalised  diet plans too, so do stop by if you need one!

Savoury Chicken Galette You can do pretty much anything with a ‘pastry canvas’ like this. To keep the younger one happy, I made a second lot with roasted bell peppers and onions {roasting done in the Philips AirFryer, 10 minutes was all it took}, topped with sliced chicken sausages marinated briefly in a honey-mustard-garlic mix. Keep it vegetarian with roasted veggies, caramelised onion & garlic jam and feta, maybe tomatoes.  It’s smooth, fun to roll out, and even more fun to ruffle over the filling to give it the characteristic galette feel.


Recipe: Savoury Chicken Galette 
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Summary: A simple, crisp and delicious pastry base which can go sweet or savoury. This savoury rustic pie can hold varied combinations of toppings, vegetarian or non vegetarian, and is great for picnics, snack boxes. The savoury chicken galette can be assembled ahead of time, or even baked ahead and rewarmed in the oven briefly. Recipe adapted minimally from Baking with Julia. Makes 4 6″ galettes.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

  • Galette dough 
  • 80ml ice cold water
  • 45ml buttermilk
  • 120g plain flour
  • 25g cornmeal [makki ka aata]
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 90g butter, chilled cubed
  • Suggested toppings {a combination of any of the following}
  • Green garlic pesto {recipe here}
  • Mozzarella
  • Caramelised onion & garlic jam {recipe here}
  • Chicken salami, sausages etc
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Sliced and roasted bell peppers
  • Sliced onions {roasted with the bell peppers}
  • Green garlic stalks
  • Smoked sea salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Galette Dough
  2. Place the flour, cornmeal and salt in bowl of food processor. Pulse briefly to mix, then add chilled butter and pulse briefly until you get an uneven mix from peas to breadcrumb size bits.
  3. With the mchine running, pour in the buttermilk, followed by most of the chilled water and process until a soft, moist dough forms.
  4. Remove, divide into 2, press into flat disks and chill for at least 2 hours.
  5. Assembling
  6. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  7. Divide each disk into two and roll out to about 8″ circles. I cut the edges round with a pastry cutter, though you could just leave it uneven.
  8. Line a shallow platter with the rolled out pastry hanging over the edges, fill it up as you like, beginning with mozzarella, then gently fold the edges over the filling around the sides.
  9. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, garlic greens etc over the filling and bake for about 30-35 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
  10. Transfer to a cooling rack, leave for at least 10 minutes, then slide off with a wide spatula. Serve warm or at room temperature with a scattering of garlic greens, fresh herbs etc.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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