Monday, 5 July 2010


There are some things that I could eat every day. Pepperonata is one of those things. There are so many different ways I like to eat it. Hot on top of freshly grilled chicken, a few mouthfuls as part of a mezze, or best of all cooled down and piled high on top of fresh bread. In fact I think it tastes even better if it's been in the fridge overnight before I pile it greedily onto ciabatta. If I'm feeling really indulgent I'll crumble some rich, earthy goats cheese on top of it. It then make's the perfect starter, or even a little snack if I'm feeling decadent.

After a bad morning this morning, someone drove into my car at the supermarket, I decided I needed a treat. The logical thing to do, was to make a big batch of pepperonata.

Trawling through the internet it seems that everyone has their own recipe for it, and I'm no different. My recipe shouldn't be followed too exactly. I've tried to give measurements for the ingredients, but please don't treat them as law. How do I know if you have big or little peppers? Or whether or not you're slicing a dinky onion or a big beasty one?

In this recipe I haven't put any tomatoes. Some recipes call for them. If I know I'm going to be eating pepperonata hot, I often add a handful of quartered sweet cherry tomatoes in the pan after the peppers have cooked for about 5 minutes. They break down and make it a bit more saucy. Nice to have with pasta. If I'm planning to serve it on bread I tend to leave them out for two reasons. Firstly they can make the bread too soggy, secondly I have a strangely high number of friends who hate tomatoes.

Don't feel trapped into using sherry vinegar, like I have used, if you don't have it. A good white or red wine vinegar works just as well, so does a raspberry vinegar or even a balsamic of you like it sweet and sticky. I tend to go through fads of different vinegars and will use whichever one is my favourite at the time.

PEPPERONATA (serves 4 as a starter)

- 4 bell peppers (red, orange or yellow only)
- Half a large onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Olive oil
- Sherry vinegar
- Salt and pepper

How to...
1. Finely slice onions and peppers.

2. Cook onions until they're soft and starting to brown in a generous glug of olive oil.

3. Add finely chopped garlic and sliced peppers.

4. Cook on a medium heat until the peppers start to caramelise on the edges.

5. Pour in a generous splash of sherry vinegar (I probably use about 1-2 tablespoons), depending on how tart you like it. If unsure add a little, taste it, then add some more until you're happy.

6. Season with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper.

7. Serve piled high on top of fresh bread once it's cooled down. Remember to save some in the fridge for lunch tomorrow.

Today whilst cooking I was listening to: The Sea by Morcheeba

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