Fried Red Peppers

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This is a bit of a job because of the frying. You can make a smaller quantity, but I find that it really is worth doing quite a lot as they can sit in the fridge for a few days and just improve their flavour. They are fantastic with goat’s cheese on bread. I add a sprig of rosemary to the oil and, if I’m going to be serving them quite quickly, I often tear a few basil leaves or scatter some fresh chopped parsley or coriander (cilantro) into the oil. These leafy fresh herbs don’t do well sitting in the fridge (the rosemary will be fine), so mix them through just before serving. Use these as a beautiful splash of colour and taste on your meze platter or as a side dish with grilled (broiled) meat or fish. They are also great on pizza.

Ingredients

  • 6 large red, sweet peppers (capsicums)
  • 125 ml (½ cup) olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary

Method

Wash the peppers, quarter them lengthways and scoop out all the insides. Dry them well.

Pour about half of the olive oil into a large non-stick saucepan, or enough to cover the bottom. Fry the peppers in batches over medium heat, until they are quite deeply golden on both sides. The important thing is that they surrender their firmness, so if you find that they are browning but still hard, add a new batch to the pan and stack the older ones on top of them so that they benefit from the heat for longer. This will also help you get through your pepper pile quicker.

Put the cooked peppers into a wide bowl or serving dish with the rest of the olive oil (or use some of the oil the peppers were cooked in), the garlic cloves, vinegar and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the peppers through the liquid and, when they are completely cool, cover the dish. Serve at room temperature.

Keep any leftover peppers covered in the fridge where they will last for a few days (covered completely in olive oil, they will last even longer).