Red Pepper Salad


Starters (hors d’oeuvres is a bit of a fancy word) fill you up before the main course. Tactics like limiting the size of portions only annoy people who just want more. The solution is to serve a meal consisting entirely of starters. This gets called brunch or mezze or various other names depending on where you come from.

The dishes should be intense and colourful. Pepper salad is a perfect example.

This recipe is all about juice. Grilling or baking the peppers makes them go soft and sweet, releases a lot of really thick juices, and allows you to remove the peel, leaving the just the moist succulent flesh. It’s quite labour intensive, but the results are worth the effort.

Pepper Salad

Take lots of red (and yellow and orange peppers, if available). Allow one or more per person. Stab them with a fork to make holes in each, to stop them exploding.

Put them in an oven tray and bake them in at 200C in a fan oven, 220C in a conventional oven, until the skin is fairly brown. Alternatively you can grill them, turning them once or twice. This might take 30 minutes.

Let them cool. Carefully peel off the outer skin of the peppers, cut open and discard the pips into a sieve, catching all the juice fromt the sieve in a bowl. Make sure to catch all the juice when you’re peeling, as well. If it’s hard going removing the skins, you probably haven’t baked/grilled them long enough.

Slice the peppers and put them in a serving dish. Add all the sieved and caught juice. Put a bit of water in the oven tray and scrape off/dissolve all the solids and add to the juice. Add olive oil and lime or lemon juice, and a bit of salt if needed. Mix.

That’s civilian grade. For industrial grade, slice or dice a clove of garlic and mix in. For military grade, use several cloves!

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