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.
- 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.