Eat More Vegetables! What To Do With Too Many Bell Peppers

Eat More Vegetables! What To Do With Too Many Bell Peppers

From Alexandra, at Ombailamos

I love yellow, orange, and red bell peppers.  So of course I got three giant green

ones in my produce box last week!  There were also six tomatoes, so the solution was obvious:  

Sauce base!  Or just sauce, depending on whether or not you are an unrepentant carnivore like me.

Ingredients: three large green bell peppers.  One large sweet onion.  Four medium-to-large tomatoes.  Various spices and seasonings, including fresh garlic.  Olive oil.

The preparation:

  • Clean, dry, and core out the green peppers, cutting first into fajita-size strips and then cutting those in half (fork size pieces).  Throw into large saute pan and sprinkle with salt to draw out some of their liquid.
  • Peel, quarter, slice, and dice the onion, add to the pan, and turn on the heat to just below medium.  Let these get hot, then add 1-2 TBSP of olive oil.  Stir well, then leave to cook while addressing the tomatoes.
  • Peel and slice 4-5 cloves of garlic and add to the pan.
  • Clean, dry, slice, and dice the tomatoes.  You can peel them first if you want to, but IMO that is more trouble than it is worth; the bits of peel will curl up into threads during cooking, you'll hardly notice them, and besides they add fiber and nutrition to the dish. 
  • Don't add these to the pan yet!  Give them a dash of Worcestershire sauce and some paprika, stir, and let marinate.
  • Keep the peppers and onions moving until they start to get sticky.  Add another TBSP of oil - I used truffle oil, to ground the flavors a bit.  Then add seasonings: oregano, garlic powder, more paprika.  Why?  It's a way to add a bright flavor, a bit of heat, and a lot of nice color.
  • When the peppers and onions are finally starting to caramelize (in my case, it was around 30 minutes to get here), add up to 1 TBSP of balsamic vinegar.  The caramelization will now hustle up.  Stir well and when happy with the color, add the tomatoes.
  • Combine well, turn heat down to lowest low, cover, and let simmer for ten minutes.
  • Remove cover and stir, and you are ready to serve; or you can let it reduce for a while, or you can take it off the heat and let it cool for future applications.

Note: homemade sauce like this will not be brightly red and green like Pace Picante.  Because it has no color enhancers or preservatives in it.  I can vouch for the flavor, though.  Taking the peppers and onions to caramelization did what I hoped it would: brought forth a base of rich sweetness to support the tomatoes.  It did take a while, but it was a good way to use a fairly daunting quantity of highly perishable veg.  Also, of course, highly nutritious.

Size 10 Argiope

Size 10 Argiope

The Stump Fairy Strikes Again

The Stump Fairy Strikes Again