sunbeams and sugardrops

Pepper Potts?

Posted on: February 2, 2011

Well pots of pepper at any rate.

Growing up, I wouldn’t call myself an odd or picky eater but I did have a couple of teeny quirks. I loved okra a.k.a bhindi or ladyfinger, which is sadly a widely hated vegetable. And I hated bell peppers a.k.a capsicum, which is pretty much indispensable in my kitchen these days.

Ever read about people hating coriander/cilantro with a passion because it smells a bit off to them (ickily descriptive New York Times article on why)?  I think that’s how I felt about capsicum. They always smelled and tasted a bit funky. I religiously picked them out of my food and piled them neatly on the side of my plate.

But now! They look like little lanterns in all their pretty colors and they taste fantastic, particularly the yellow and red ones. Raw they’re crunchy, sweet, juicy and a bit like I’m eating some sunlight. Cooked they transform into so many kinds of awesome. They’re great in salads, stir-frys, tomato-based pasta sauces, in my fancy mac-n-cheese, with eggs, in eggs, roasted, in sandwiches and oh plenty more. I’ve fallen for peppers quite hard to be honest.

My latest favorite thing to do with them is to make my version of a peperonata which is a capsicum stew that can be almost jam-like and packs a flavor punch when added to any number of things:

  • On toast topped with a fried egg
  • Cooked with a little garlic and an additional splash of extra virgin olive oil, it’s great with some al-dente spaghetti
  • With a little turmeric and chili powder cooked along with it, mashed up paneer stirred through it – easy weeknight dinner
  • A little bacon, ham or other deli meat browned and added to the mix – the possibilities are endless.

It’s flexible and luscious and even manages to lift up some shop bought pizza crust to something quite delicious. Which is exactly what I did one tired weeknight. Whipped up some peperonata, spooned it onto the shop-bought crust, sliced some mushrooms and olives, browned a little ham, a little cheese and you’re off. 15 minutes in the oven and that’s dinner!

A little off topic but that dark brown stuff on the other pizza in the picture is olive tapenade. I was trying something. That pizza got topped with some strange things but turned out quite good to my surprise. Experimenting…that’s the good stuff. Maybe it isn’t right to call these things pizzas but what the hell…they were perfect for that night.

Peperonata

Onions – 2 large, chopped or sliced, however you like.

Bell peppers – 2, red or yellow or both, diced or sliced, depending on what you did with the onions

Olive oil – 2 or 3 tbs

Dried oregano, pinch

Dried basil, pinch

Dried rosemary, pinch

Or a couple of healthy pinches of any dried herb mix you like.

Salt to season.

Sauté the onions till they start to turn a pretty yellow-gold. Throw in the bell peppers. You probably want to season it with some salt at this stage. Add the dried herbs. What you want is for the peppers to slowly cook down a bit and turn really tender so the heat’s got to be quite low. You’re cooking for about 25-30 mins, stirring a few times.  When you’ve got the peppers as tender as you like them, you’re done. You could eat this hot or cold, in any of the ways I’ve mentioned here or any other way you like really.

Go crazy with this and make your own peperonata. It’ll be great to know what you do with your versions.

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5 Responses to "Pepper Potts?"

Peperonata sounds amazing, and that pizza looks awesome!
Please make this the next time I’m in Bombay.

And of course, as always, keep up the writing and cooking! 🙂

Oh yes! Can’t wait for you to come and visit…whenever 🙂

I did not know about your blog…pls keep writing. U have that magazine style writing. Always relevant, classy, very unique and yet relatable. Also the recipe, tantalissimo!

Thanks! So glad you liked. I do keep planning other posts and fingers crossed…should see one more published soon! 🙂

A gift that keeps giving…your peperonata recipe 🙂 we remember you every single time I make it or show it off to someone else. Btw, I love the new layout. U r getting there, woman. All the best. Good things.

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