11 Sep 10

Google Alerts has just whispered in my ear that the New South Wales Australia library system has 18 copies of my book:  Peppers, Peppers, Peppers! Wow. I only have one copy myself–out of print in Europe and the USA, its hard to get your hands on, so if you are in Australia, go and check it out: I LOVE libraries, don’t you: you can walk in, BORROW  a book, read it, love it, and in the case of a cookbook, cook from it!

So delighted am I at the reappearance of my book, pepper x 3, i’m going into the kitchen right this minute and roasting a pile of peppers: red, yellow and green. Its the simplest of recipes, one you can nibble as a snack, tuck into a sandwich, toss into pasta, mix with grilled aubergine/eggplant, its kind of the most versatile and simple roasted pepper anywhere. Also, you can do it with mild large chillies, leave them whole, then stuff them with meat, or cheese, or eat them cold, filled with guacamole or tuna salad. To be honest, I think i could write a book devoted to recipes using these roast peppers; but that would be a whole cookbook; or another blog. on second hand, why not just start here with the inspiration, and take these peppers into your own kitchen life: be happy together!

Next time I promise fotos: right now my camera has issues.

Tangy Roasted Peppers for All Meals and Occasions

Makes a nice little bowlful, enough for maybe 4 people; you can double or triple or multiply this endlessly: its only a matter of roasting, charring, peeling, and dressing with salt, garlic, a dab of vinegar.

4 peppers, red, yellow, green, orange, etc, whole

3 cloves garlic

sprinkling of salt

About 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1. Place the peppers on top of a gas stove or under the broiler/grill; over medium high flame char lightly then move a little bit to char another side of the pepper, until each of the peppers is charred evenly. Once they were beautiful, shiny, smooth and bright: now they are blackened and wrinkled. But thats the way they are meant to be.

2. Put the blackened peppers into a bowl or plastic bag; seal tightly and leave to cool.

3. When cool, peel the peppers, saving any smoky juices that have gathered from the roasted peppers. Using a paring knife or your fingers, brush and peel off the charred skin; discard the skin, and remove the stem and seeds from the pepper. If using whole place in bowl with reserved juices; if slicing, say to eat as an appetizer antipasto, slice them.

4. Toss with the garlic, salt and vinegar. Leave for up to 2 weeks. They are delicious immediately, but I think at their best after two days. No olive oil in the recipe: I like to drizzle it over the top just before serving: use a nice strongly flavoured one, and drizzle accordingly to your desires and delight!

Here’s how i’m serving them tonight: with goats cheese and a sprinkling of Greek basil–the tiny-leafed, enchantingly fragrant type of basil.  Tomorrow, I’m having a birthday party for Bee, my favourite 92-year old. She drives a little red Mini–and she drives it fast!– has an enviable social life, and an inspirationally robust appetite for food and wine. I’m thinking of tossing the peppers in pasta with olives and maybe, just maybe, making a little porchetta. Dessert will be banoffi pie, with a big big candle on top!

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