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Sunday, 4 August 2013

ROASTED GREEN, RED AND YELLOW PEPPERS

Good Morning to you,


Yesterday, was a glorious day, so George and I decided to go to the city, to do a little shopping. I think everyone had the same idea, as the city was buzzing with people of all ages.

Everywhere we walked there was music filling the air. There were buskers playing folk music, there were a couple of people playing accordions, and there was a wonderful violinist who treated us to the most beautiful music.  This young lady played an electric violin, and I have to say, her music moved me to tears. When we arrived she was playing The Wind Beneath My Wings, and with every note you could feel the emotion oozing from her. Then she played Greensleeves..... she was wonderful. We put some money into her violin case, and then George took me by the arm and led me away, as he said, if I stayed to listen to the violinist playing her next piece of music, my emotions would take over and the tears would appear again.... he was right of course.

The cafes had tables and chairs set outside, so we stopped for a cold drink and just watched the world go by for half an hour.

I then nipped into Marks and Spencers, because I wanted to buy some sea salt and found some garlic infused sea salt, which I have never used before, but I thought it would be a good idea to use it in today's recipe of roasted green, red and yellow peppers. After a little shopping, we made our way home and put our feet up in the garden.

As I mentioned, we are making some roasted peppers today and you will love them. 



They are a little fiddly, but so worth the effort, and so much better than shop bought roasted peppers..... I think that should be my slogan, as I use the phrase so often..... "So much better than shop bought".  

It is time to get started, so it's on with the apron and the music I am listening to today is,


Clannad.... their music is beautiful and so haunting and just perfect for today, as today's recipe does take a little time.  Clannad is perfect to listen to when you are relaxing or taking life at a slower pace.


INGREDIENTS

10 large peppers of any colour



5 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
8 sun dried tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
garlic infused sea salt
don't worry, normal sea salt is fine to use.
black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 200C



Place the peppers on an oiled baking sheet
and place in the oven for 45 minutes



Whilst waiting for the peppers to brown,
snip the sun dried tomatoes into thin slices.


Thinly slice the 2 cloves of garlic


Place the olive oil and balsamic vinegar
into a bowl and whisk together,
add
salt and pepper 
and whisk again,
then add the sliced garlic.


Remove the peppers from the oven when they
are brown. 
If you prefer you can blacken the peppers, but
I find that the taste of blackened peppers is too strong for me.


Cover the roasted peppers with a tea towel and allow
to cool for about 5 minutes


Remove the peppers from the baking tray and place onto
a large flat dish.
Remove the stem


Remove all the seeds, turn the pepper over and
remove the skin, this should be quite easy,
as by covering the peppers with a 
tea towel, this allows the peppers to steam a little.


Slice the peppers as thinly or as thickly as you like.  I
sliced mine roughly 1/2 inch in width.
Continue removing the seeds, the skin and slicing
all the peppers.


When you have finished deseeding and slicing,
 you will find that there is quite a
lot of juice left in the dish, but you will also have a 
few rogue seeds.  Strain the juice through a sieve to
capture the seeds.


Add the sliced sun dried tomatoes
and the dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic,
sea salt and black pepper


Using two forks, gently mix the peppers and dressing,


These roasted peppers are delicious eaten with crusty bread. Dunk the bread  into the dressing and  pile the roasted peppers onto the bread.  Alternatively they are perfect as a side dish served with fish or chicken, or even added to couscous. Whichever way you eat them they will be delicious.  I do tend to leave them a day or two to allow the flavours to combine.

Just as an added thought, always eat these roasted peppers at room temperature.

You may think there is a lot of olive oil in the dish, but remember, after peeling the peppers, there was a lot of pepper juice left in the dish,  which we combined with the dressing.   If you prefer, add a little less olive oil, and a little less of the pepper juice, as this will not spoil the dish.

Peppers, olive oil, sea salt and garlic are ingredients very reminiscent of the Island of Cyprus, but there is another ingredient which I used when living there and that was preserved lemons. These were not native to Cyprus, but the fresh lemons were, as they grew in abundance.  I would walk into my garden, pick five or six lemons from the tree, walk into my kitchen and I would be ready to preserve them....... such lovely memories.

The first time I tasted a preserved lemon was in 1996 when we visited Tunisia, North Africa. We were treated to a delicious dish of chicken, olives and preserved lemons, which we both loved. The preserved lemons have such a unique flavour and both George and I have loved them ever since that first tasting.  I could not wait to find out how to preserve lemons, so whilst in Tunisia, I spoke to one of chefs in the hotel, and he was kind enough to give me the instructions on how to go about preserving them. So  next week I will be showing you how to preserve lemons, as I need to replenish my supply, as I am down to my last preserved lemon. It is very easy and you will wonder why you have not done it before. I bet you cannot guess what I am going to say next.  Yes you are right, "So much better than shop bought". 

So take care and I will see you later in the week.

This week I will be joining,


and






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