Pepperonata

Serves 6
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Indy Lifestyle Online

I often eat this sweet, fresh dish on its own, but it is lovely with a simply roasted chicken, grilled fish or as part of an antipasti plate, with salami, prosciutto and roasted aubergines laced with olive oil, marjoram and mint.

3 red peppers
2 yellow peppers
60ml/21/2fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 medium-sized bunch of marjoram or oregano
A splash of red-wine vinegar
20 little very ripe baby plum tomatoes
1 generous bunch of basil, leaves only
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Start by slicing the peppers in half, scooping out the seeds and slicing into one-inch strips lengthwise.

Now place a medium-sized heavy- based pan over a gentle heat. Add a tablespoon of the olive oil and allow to warm through. When the oil is warm but not hot, add the onions, a pinch of salt and sweat for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Once the onions are soft and translucent, add the garlic and marjoram (or oregano, to your taste) and sweat for a further 10 minutes – the onions should not have browned at all. Add the peppers and vinegar and stir to combine.

Pierce the little tomatoes with a small knife and add to the pan, squeezing softly between your hands as you do so, to release a little of their juice. Place a lid on the pan and turn to the lowest heat. Cook until the peppers are soft and almost falling apart; this should take about 45 minutes. Drizzle over the rest of the olive oil, add the whole basil leaves and taste for seasoning. It will need salt and pepper.

Serve either warm or, as is my favourite, at room temperature.

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