Pimento pepper on the fire, almond and parsley salsa

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Preparation info

  • Serves 8

    starter portions
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Mile 8: A book about cooking

Mile 8

By David Higgs

Published 2018

  • About

This was originally an accompaniment to a tuna dish, which you can still do – with raw or cooked tuna. We took it off, as it eats so well by itself. And as we know, when it comes to food, the simpler the better.


Grilled pimentos

  • 8 pimento peppers
  • 40 ml olive oil
  • 2 limes – the zest
  • salt


  • 150 g whole almonds
  • 10 g parsley – chopped
  • fresh hot red chilli – to taste
  • 1 lime – the zest
  • olive oil to bind
  • salt
  • 80 ml olive oil10 ml per serving – to drizzle
  • reserved pimento pepper juices – use to drizzle over the pepper when serving
  • Maldon sea salt flakes
  • 56 basil flowers – 7 per serving – to garnish
  • 40 small basil leaves – 5 per serving – to garnish
  • limes – to zest


Brush the pimentos with olive oil and grill whole until the flesh is soft and blistered. Remove from the grill, place in a bowl and cover with cling film to steam the peppers – this will make peeling them easy. After 5–10 minutes, remove the outer skin, reserving the liquid left behind. Cut the peppers lengthways without cutting all the way through one side (butterfly cut) and remove the seeds. Refrigerate in an airtight container until needed.

Lightly toast the almonds in a pan over medium heat and then place inside a pestle and mortar with the remaining ingredients, except the olive oil and salt. Grind until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add olive oil to bind. Season with salt to taste and reserve.

To assemble, place each pimento back on the fire to char and then place one on each hot plate, as shown in the photo. Drizzle each plate with 10 ml olive oil and a few drops of the juices reserved from peeling the pimento peppers. Top each serving with 20 g salsa and season with sea salt flakes. Finish with 7 basil flowers, 5 basil leaves and use a microplane to grate some lime zest over each plate.