I walked a few laps around the store before deciding to spend the $1.99 to taste it. Opening the jar I had reservations; would using this spread diminish the effort I put into my meal? Not at all.
The spread is so complete it feels a little like cheating, but more like getting a free hour on your parking meter than speeding through a stop sign. More spicy than the romesco sauce I had used on my lamb burgers, it could easily sit in for the real thing in a pinch. The chunks of roasted red pepper are only the beginning; the eggplant and garlic round out the spread and the spicy kick adds another level of flavor. It's great as an appetizer with goat cheese or as a base for a mozzarella and basil pannini.
What's your favorite culinary shortcut? Have you tried Trader Joe's red pepper spread?
(Image: Stephanie Barlow