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Roast Pork Sandwiches with Roasted Peppers and Spinach

Community meeting demonstration dinner, 10/3/12

These sandwiches are a great way to use leftover roast pork. Or, you could use other leftover roast meat or deli meats.

  • 4 rolls or buns, or other bread to make 6 sandwiches
  • 1 pound roast pork or other leftover or deli meat
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, freshly roasted, jarred, or home-canned
  • 1 cup spinach or other greens 

Divide the pork between the 4 rolls. Top with roasted peppers and spinach. Serve.

Yield: 4 sandwiches.

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Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip

Garden training session picnic, 9/19/12

This dip is a great new way to use fresh summer vegetables. Try it with raw vegetables, crackers, bread, or even as a sauce with chicken, pork, or beef.

  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 large bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

OVEN METHOD (preferred): Preheat oven to 400. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise and place cut side down on greased baking sheet. Place whole pepper on sheet. Roast until both eggplant and pepper are tender (the pepper may take a little longer).

MICROWAVE METHOD: Slice eggplant in half lengthwise and pierce the skin with a fork in a few places. Cut the top off the pepper and remove the seeds. Place eggplant and pepper on a plate and microwave on high for about 8 minutes, until both are tender.

Peel the pepper and eggplant: place hot cooked pepper in a sealed container for 20 minutes to steam. Afterwards, peel off the skin with your fingers. If roasted whole, remove seeds and stem. Peel the eggplant when it’s cool – you should be able to take the skin right off.

In a food processor or blender, combine cooked peeled vegetables and all remaining ingredients. Process until smooth, then taste and adjust salt as needed.

Yield: about 1 cup

Peppers and Potatoes with Pesto

Committee meeting working lunch, 8/16/12

This simple dish shows off the flavors of summer.

In a large pot, cover chopped potatoes with salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.

While potatoes are cooking, heat a large skillet over high heat. Add oil, then add peppers with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until peppers are beginning to get browned and tender, about 5-7 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine cooked potatoes, cooked peppers, and pesto. Toss to combine. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

Serves 6.

All the ingredients in bold are things you can grow in your own garden.

Peperonata

This simple dish of stewed peppers and onions with herbs shows off summer farmers market produce at its best.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large onions*, thinly sliced
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano* or marjoram* (divided between beginning and end of cooking)
  • 3 large sweet bell peppers* (red, yellow, or orange), thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add oil to heat, then add onions, 1 tablespoon chopped herbs, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add peppers and another pinch of salt and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until peppers are tender, 20-30 minutes.

Add remaining chopped herbs, vinegar. Taste and add additional salt if needed. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Serves 6 as a side dish.

*These ingredients can be grown in your garden.

Canning Recipe: Marinated Roasted Bell Peppers
adapted from Simply Recipes

This recipe makes your roasted peppers even more delicious and preserves them to eat all year round. If you don’t want to can, you can stop before the processing step and store your peppers in the fridge to eat within 3 weeks.

  • 1 cup bottled lemon juice
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, quartered
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 pounds bell peppers, roasted (see instructions here)
  • 3 pint-sized canning jars

Heat a large pot of water for canning (water should cover the pint jars by at least an inch). While it heats, prepare marinade: in a large saucepan, combine lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and salt. Bring to a boil.

Dip jars and lids in boiling water to sanitize. Distribute the roasted peppers evenly between the sanitized jars. Pour the hot marinade over, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe rims clean, then place on lids and rings (do not tighten rings too tight).

Place jars in the boiling water for canning. Boil for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool in pot for a few minutes, then remove to cool completely. Jars lids should pop down, showing the can is sealed. Sealed cans can be stored at room temperature for a year. If any jars fail to seal, place in the refrigerator and use within 3 weeks.

Makes 3 pints.

Green Bean, Bell Pepper, and Red Onion Salad

Committee meeting working lunch, 8/1/12

This colorful salad is perfect for mid to late summer, when green beans, bell peppers, red onions, and herbs are all in season. Preparing it takes several different steps, but the result is worth it. Or, if you like raw green beans, skip a cooking step and add them to the salad raw.

  • 1/2 medium red onion*
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or marjoram (or use 2 teaspoons dried oregano or marjoram)*
  • large pinch salt
  • 1 lb green beans*
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 2 sweet bell peppers – red, yellow, or orange*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • additional salt and black pepper to taste

Thinly slice the red onion. Place in a small bowl with the vinegar, chopped herbs, and pinch of salt. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes while you make the rest of the salad.

Pinch the stem ends off the green beans. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook for 4-6 minutes, until just tender. Drain beans and allow to cool.

Heat a pan over medium-low heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove and chop bacon, leaving bacon fat in pan.

While bacon is cooking, thinly slice the peppers. In a large bowl, combine peppers, cooked beans, and onions (leave the vinegar behind in the bowl). When done, add chopped bacon.

To the bacon fat in the pan, add half the vinegar from the onions and an additional tablespoon olive oil. Pour over vegetables and toss to coat. Add black pepper and additional salt to taste.

Serve room temperature or chilled.

Serves 6-8.

*Onions, pepper, green beans, and herbs can all be grown in your garden.

Roasted Red Peppers

Removing the skin from roasted peppers can be an annoying and messy task, but that smoky, charred taste combined with the sweetness of the roasted peppers makes it well worth the effort.

Preheat a broiler or grill to high heat. Place peppers directly under broiler or on grill. Allow the skin facing the heat to blacken and blister, 1-2 minutes. Turn the peppers and allow the next side to blacken. Continue rotating until the skin is completely blackened. Transfer peppers to a bowl or container and cover tightly with a lid or plastic wrap. Allow to sit, covered, for at least 20 minutes (steam helps the skin come off).

When peppers are cool enough to handle, use your hands to carefully open the pepper and remove the seeds, stem, and any liquid inside. Then, place the pepper (pieces, by now) skin-side up on a cutting board and use your fingers or a knife to scrape off the skin. It should come off easily. Do not rinse the peppers.