Kipper loves peppers. She once had a meltdown in a supermarket because she wanted to buy a huge yellow one. When we got home, I was unpacking the shopping and turned around to find that she’d taken it out of the bag and was chomping away on it as though it were an apple. She really loves peppers. So as you might imagine, there are often peppers in our fridge. But every so often, I buy too many peppers, and we end up with a pepper surplus. This is what happened today, when I realised I had a whole unopened bag of ‘value’ peppers that needed eating, and fast. Peperonata is most definitely the answer. The effort/yum ratio is extremely favourable and it is astonishingly versatile. It is delicious hot, as we had it, with rice, pasta, jacket potato, or the carbohydrate of your choice. It also makes a fantastic side dish. You can eat it cold, as a salad, or have peperonata on toast for a tasty lunch. You can even put little spoonfuls of it onto toasted slices of baguette and make peperonata crostini to serve with drinks, if that’s the sort of thing you get up to. It’s best made with red, yellow and orange peppers, but really any colour is fine, as long as there’s a mixture. I’ve never made it solely with one colour, but I think it wouldn’t be as good. We ate it with ptitim and griddled halloumi cheese – which Kipper calls “halloumi rubber”. The chewy saltiness of the cheese complimented the soft sweetness of the peppers beautifully. This served two adults and a small person. There were no leftovers…
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 600g (or thereabouts) peppers
- 2 medium onions
- 150g cherry tomatoes or other small tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp dried basil
- Peel and slice the onions. Slice the peppers into strips, discarding the stalks, seeds and membranes. Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters, depending on their size.
- Then, put all the ingredients in a pan over a medium heat, and bring to a low simmer. If it looks dry, add a tablespoon or two of hot water. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 30-45 minutes.
- That's it! Eat it hot, or let it cool down and then eat it. You'll be glad you did.
To make the griddled halloumi, slice the cheese into pieces around 1 cm thick. Toss them in olive oil to just coat, and then cook on a hot griddle pan for a couple of minutes each side – just long enough for the crispy scorched lines to appear.