Posts Tagged ‘red peppers’

Our friend Charlotte first served us this delicious dish of red peppers. The eponymous Percy is a friend of hers.

They were on the menu together with slow-cooked chicken breasts for Brian and Ren’s last night.

I checked my blog to see if I had already posted this recipe and found no reference.

Hooray, I thought, this will make a good post today as a starter or vegetable.

I googled Percy’s Pickled Pepper–thinking what a good intro the tongue twister would be–and up came my post from a year ago!

Percy Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
A peck of pickled peppers Percy Piper picked;
If Percy Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Percy Piper picked?

Of course, Peter ‘s picking in the nursery rhyme–but Percy’s just as hard to say….

This year’s version:

for four

4 red peppers— cored, de-seeded and sliced fine lengthwise.

3 or 4 garlic cloves skinned and left whole.

12 anchovy fillets–chopped up

2 tblsps small capers

2 tblsps olive oil–plus extra for dribbling

pepper to taste

  • In a large pan over a low heat gently soften the peppers with the garlic cloves in the olive oil; it’s worth taking the time to do this–undercooked peppers are as unpalatable as undercooked aubergines/eggplants.
  • Take a strip of pepper out of the pan from time to time, to test for doneness.

  • In a small pan melt the anchovies slowly in a little olive oil by stirring and mashing them.

  • Add the capers to the melted anchovies and stir the mix into the peppers.
  • Season with pepper.
  • Turn the mixture into an ovenproof serving dish.

Heat the oven to 180˚ half-an-hour before you’re ready to eat.

  • Pop the peppers in the oven to heat through (about 10 minutes).
  • Serve warm with more olive oil drizzled over.
The less-than-a-peck of peppers I prepared for supper disappeared before you could say Percy Piper!

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Recently discovered this traditional North African favourite in Ottolenghi’s sumptuous vegetable cookbook  Plenty.

It is commonly served in individual cast iron pans, which I imagine adding to the pleasure–one pan and ALL for ME!

It makes a pretty summer picture on the plate with a few green beans (gift from our neighbours, Hervé and Maite) to the side.

for 2

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds–dry roasted in a medium pan

1 large onion–red or yellow–sliced

80ml/1/4 cup olive oil

2 red peppers--washed, deseeded and sliced thin

1 bay leaf, thyme leaves from a few sprigs, 2 tablespoons of parsley

3 large fresh ripe tomatoes or tinned–roughly chopped with the juices

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper and a pinch–a few strands–of saffron

1/4 cup/60 ml water

2 or 4 egg 

salt and pepper

  • Dry roast the cumin seeds for a minute or two, taking care not to burn them.
  • Add the oil to the pan, then the onions and over a medium high heat cook them for 5 minutes to soften them.

  • Add the peppers and the three herbs, turn everything over thoroughly.

  • Cover the pan for 5 minutes to start the softening of the peppers.

  • Cook a further 5 minutes uncovered.
  • Add the tomatoes, the water–little by little to avoid diluting the sauce–and the two spices and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 15 minutes on a low heat–covering for a short time if you think the peppers need further softening.
  • The result should be a lightly spicy sauce in which to poach the eggs.

  • Carefully break the eggs ( 2 or 4–your choice) into the sauce–leaving space between them.

  • Cover the pan and cook, over a lowish heat, until the eggs are cooked to your taste.

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Worth trying just for the beauty of it!

It is the perfect time.

The markets have red and yellow late summer peppers on the stalls and the tomatoes are sweet end of season numbers.

The last few from the garden

This will be lunch today served on a piece of rye toast (for me–wholewheat for Meredith) with a poached egg perched on top.

750gms/1.5 lbs red and yellow peppers (or just red if you can’t find yellow)–seeded and sliced in strips

1 tablespoon olive oil

350 gms/12 oz ripe tomatoes–peeled and chopped

1 medium onion–sliced thinly

2 cloves of garlic–sliced

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper

  • Heat the oil in a medium pan you can cover.
  • Sauté the onion to soften it for five minutes then add the sliced garlic; turn it in the onion and oil and cook for a couple more minutes.
  • Add the pepper slices and the bay leaves, turning these over in the mixture.
  • Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes to soften the peppers, turning them a couple of times.
  • Add the tomatoes, some salt and pepper, mix them in and cover the pan again–let this cook gently for 20 minutes.
  • If he mix is a little too liquid, cook it another 5 minutes or so uncovered.
  • Add the teaspoon of balsamic and mix in well.
  • A spoonful of tapinade makes a nice contrast with the colours of Catalonia (to the south of us here)

The flag of Catalonia!

  •  and cuts the sweetness of the peppers–but then you have to make the tapinade!
  • For us now it’s a poached egg.

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“Percy Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
A peck of pickled peppers Percy Piper picked;
If Percy Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Percy Piper picked?” 

(It’s Peter in the original tongue twister, and it’s just as difficult with Percy!)

The “Percy” in the title is a friend of a friend.

These peppers have a delicious savoury taste, a lovely look, and help to cheer up a dull unseasonal day…

The secret is to take care slicing them thin and then sautéeing them slow and long.

We had them yesterday for lunch with a poached egg on top and a fennel salad.

for 4

4 red peppers— sliced finely–lengthwise

10 anchovy fillets–pulped with a pinch of salt

1 tablespoon of  capers–roughly chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

generous twists of  black pepper

  • Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and soften the peppers gently over a low heat.
  • It’s worth taking the time to do this–at least an hour.
  • Stir in the anchovies–without breaking up the peppers–until they melt.
  • Heat the oven to 180˚
  • Stir the capers into the peppers and season with black pepper.
  • Fold them into a pleasing ovenproof dish and heat them through for about 10 minutes
  • Serve them warm with more olive oil drizzled over (and the egg on top if you like.)

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