Thursday, 1 January 2015

Rescuing Xmas Left-overs - Roast Capsicums + Crazy Pesto

Well folks, I suppose you are as exhausted and full of Xmas cheer and food as we are here chez Pickings. We have been valiantly eating and drinking our way through all the left-overs as hard as we can, but there are still more lurking on back shelves and snuggling into the depths of the vegie crisper.  (I had been looking for some pineapple that I knew was in the fridge but it didn't turn up till yesterday - well after the needed timeframe for Xmas pavlova.)   There was a packet of 3 cute little baby capsicums in one fridge, and heaps of parsley and mint from sis-in-law's garden sitting in the bottom of the other fridge.  It was now or never time as they were all getting a bit gnarly.  I decided I would just roast the wee capsicums and throw them into olive oil, and then I would make a crazy pesto - you know, like a crazy tea-set - from whatever bits and bobs we had around the fridge and pantry.   These aren't even recipes really; just ideas that you can adapt as you wish.  So I took the 3 capsicums, cleaned out the ribs and seeds, cut into halves and roasted at 170C for 40 minutes till very soft and starting to caramelise around the edges.  I then let them cool, put them into a small jar and covered in olive oil.  They are now nestling in the fridge ready to put on sandwiches or into pasta dishes.

pretty baby capsicums

sprinkled with olive oil, salt and pepper 


done and about to go in the fridge 

I roasted the capsicums with pepper, a few pinches of a lovely salt combo that my niece gave me for Xmas - smoked orange peel, garlic, chilli and smoked salt, a few splashes of olive oil, about 1/2 tsp of brown sugar and a few drops into each half of caramelised balsamic vinegar.   I let it cook for 40 minutes at 170C, then covered it with delicious buttery French olive oil that another sis-in-law gave me.  I am very eager to try them out soon!
Next was the crazy pesto made with parsley, mint, basil, cashews, pine nuts, walnuts and odds and sods of left over cheese.  That's the great thing about pesto - you can use all sorts of herbs and nuts depending what you have around. You just blitz it all together and eat on pasta, or whack it into the freezer till you need it.


1 bunch parsley
1/2 bunch basil
a few mint leaves
90mls olive oil  (I used 1/4 cup then had to add 2 tbs more=around 90mls)
2 tsp garlic paste or 2 cloves of fresh garlic
1/2 tsp salt
a few twists of black pepper
1 cup nuts- I used cashews, walnuts and pine nuts
1 red chilli (or use dried flakes)
40g. tasty cheese  - I  used some tasty cheese I had sitting in the fridge plus a little parmesan

Blitz till it forms a lovely paste.  I took a hint from lovely blogger Claire K, who suggested that when freezing food you can put it into a plastic freezer bag and spread it out flat so it freezes in a thin layer, making it much quicker to defrost.

mixed nuts

chopping up left over cheese 

that is one hot chilli 

all flattened out and ready for the freezer 

there she goes! 

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and New Year's.   All the best for 2015!


  1. Happy New Year! Love the look of that pesto! Delicious! :)

  2. Ooh that does look very yummy - love pesto so might have to give your recipe a try :-)

    1. Thanks Louise. It is nice to have a meal ready to go in the freezer. Just add pasta:)

  3. Oh this is such a fantastic way to use up leftovers! :) i love pesto and capsicums.and i second the notion of crucial ingridients or food showing up much later when its too late!

    1. it was hilarious with that pineapple- i knew it was there but i just couldn't find it anywhere:)


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