Vegetables preserved in oil can be used to liven up salads, in stews or as a pizza topping, and their oil can also be used in salad dressings. Peppers are always nicest grilled until blackened first and then skinned, as this gives them a wonderful mellow, smoky taste. To preserve peppers, you will need 2kg (4lb) red, green or yellow peppers – a mixture of all three looks very pretty. Sprigs of fresh herbs, peeled garlic cloves and olive oil or a mixture of olive and sunflower oil are also added.
Quarter the peppers lengthwise, then remove the stalks, cores and seeds. Arrange on a grill pan, skin-side uppermost. Grill until completely black. Wrap in a tea towel and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Strip off the skins, then cut the peppers into strips.
Pack the pepper strips into clean, dry jars, layering them with sprigs of fresh herbs and adding a peeled garlic clove to each layer. Pour over enough olive oil to cover the peppers completely. Seal the jars tightly. Store for about one month in a cool, dark place before using.