01 October 2007

The Lovely Red Peppers

My boyfriend and I are eaters who will not go for your typical fast lunch. Things like processed turkey meat, sliced white bread and pre-sliced cheddar cheese are basically not allowed in our kitchen, period. Our stubborn approach to food can make lunchtime difficult and we often find ourselves headed out the door for a decent noontime meal. But I have found a recipe that lends to easy, delicious, fast lunches at home.

I cannot take credit for the newfound golden ticket. The recipe was published in the first issue of Saveur I ever received which was delivered to my mailbox about 2 ½ years ago. I cherish this publication and read it front to back several times. While the recipe in question, Nimês Red Peppers, in the “A Meal in Nimês” article caught my eye I put off making them until a few days ago (when I had the plethora of peppers).

The recipe is simple. You put 6 ripe red bell peppers in the oven at 400 degrees. Roast for 20 minutes and turn them once sometime near the 10 minute mark. Then turn off the oven and let them rest inside the cooling vessel for one hour. Remove them, peel, stem and seed them, then let them drain in a colander for one hour (I let them drain overnight). Put the peppers in a bowl with 3 cloves of coarsely chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and a Mario Batali sized pinch of salt. Pour some good olive oil over the peppers until they are completely submerged and mix them gently. Sit back and wait for the magic to happen.

After 3 hours of marinating these peppers will blow you away. They are plump, juicy and slightly tinged with a delectable taste of pungent garlic that blends perfectly into the tangy vinegar goodbye-flavor. The peppers are so delicious yet subtle, they add the perfect texture and flavor to almost anything.

I ate them on a thick heel slice of sourdough batard with a couple slices of artisan salami on top. So easy and so good. My boyfriend had a sourdough sandwich with thinly sliced red onion, Mahon cheese, salami, spicy whole grain mustard we picked up in France and some mesclun greens. Both were delicious and completely satisfying. There are some recipes that deserve a front seat in the refrigerator and these peppers are my new favorite culinary copilot.