Years ago, our very dear friend and fabulous cook, Bruce Miller, from Salem, Oregon, shared this recipe for a wonderfully versatile sauce. A simple-to-make, but deeply intense accompaniment, it is perfect to have on hand during the heat of summer when everything seems to explode in the garden. We serve it as a healthy appetizer with vegetables, a sauce for pasta or potatoes, or even as a rich variation on bruschetta when rubbed on toasted Italian bread.
The strength of the flavors is best balanced with a fairly robust extra virgin olive oil. Try to bring out the best in this dish.
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 thin slices of French/Italian bread
2 garlic cloves (not too big unless you really like a strong garlic taste)
2 jars of roasted peppers (7 oz. each) drained; or fresh roasted peppers, time-permitting
2 T sherry/red wine vinegar
Dash of cayenne
Toast almonds over moderate heat in heavy skillet and reserve. Add bread slices to the skillet and toast each side until golden, cool and tear into pieces.
Place almonds and bread into a food processor. While running, drop garlic in one clove at a time. Pulse the processor until the ingredients are finely chopped. Add the peppers, oil, vinegar, and cayenne. Process to a thick paste. Refrigerate if using as a dip.