Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Scones

Finally, fall has come.  It is cool in the morning and a jacket is needed.  The days are beautiful and perfect for a before dinner run in the woods.  Pumpkins, butternut squash, acorn squash and all other varieties of winter squash are in season, which I love so much more than summer squash.  (Side note:  why are they called summer and winter squash, when they also grow in the spring and fall?)

Though this summer was very hot and humid, here we were fortunate to also get rain, meaning an extension to the summer vegetable growing season.  At my farmers’ market there are still beautiful red, orange and yellow bell peppers, which beg to be roasted and tossed into dishes, so under the broiler they go to be blistered black.  About half of them I threw on a pizza with arugula pesto and tomatoes; with the other half I got creative and made these savory scones for a delicious afternoon snack.  So if you are lucky and still have plenty of colored peppers left, roast them up and tries these little bites.  What’s that you say?  You’ve never roasted your own peppers?  No worries.  I have my recipe below.  Enjoy!

Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Scones

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, diced
2 roasted red or yellow peppers, cut into slices*
2 tablespoons basil, chiffonaded
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon milk
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Dice the cold butter and add it to the flour.  Blend the butter into the flour with your fingers, until the mixture resembles coarse meal (as you would for pie dough or grapefruit scones).  Add the roasted red peppers, basil and shredded mozzarella cheese and mix together.  Add the yogurt and eggs and blend together with your hands or a large wooden spoon.  Pour the mixture onto a clean work surface and knead the dough together.  Pat the dough out into a rectangle.  With a pizza cutter or knife cut the dough into six squares and then cut those squares diagonally into triangles (12 triangles altogether).

Move the scones onto the baking sheet.  Brush the tops of the scones with milk.  Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the top.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the scones are golden brown.

*Roasted Peppers

4 colored bell peppers (you can also do this with poblano and other spicy peppers)
1 teaspoon olive oil

Turn on your oven broiler (high if there is an option).  Rinse and dry the peppers.  Drizzle the olive oil over the peppers and use your hands to coat the pepper in it.  Place the peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet and put under the broiler.  Blacken each side of the peppers, rotating as they blacken, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Remove the peppers from the oven and fold the foil around them in a tight seal.  You can also place the peppers in a sealable plastic bag.  Either way the key is to seal the steam into the container to finish cooking (steaming) the peppers.  Let the peppers steam for 15-20 minutes.  Remove the peppers from their container and peel off the skin.  I go the “long route” and just use my fingers, but I’ve heard rubbing the peppers between a clean kitchen towel works too.  Remove the stem and seeds.  Cut up the pepper and enjoy your roasted peppers.


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