Jul 31 2019

Middle Eastern Bell Peppers

Kings of the summer, peppers like these are very simple to prepare yet feature a delicious Middle Eastern flavour which will make you dream of pleasantly being away from home.

Serves 4

  • 4 bell peppers
  • 100 gr hazelnuts
  • 50 gr white sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 3 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp extravirgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp vinegar, any kind
  • 1 garlic clove
  • bread crumbs

Toast the hazelnuts and sesame seeds separately. Let them cool to room temperature, then add the cumin and coriander and reduce to a powder with a food processor. This mix is called Duqqah and it is very common in the Middle East, where they are used to eating it over slices of bread previously dipped in olive oil.

Wash the peppers, eliminate the white part and seeds and quarter them regularly.

In a small food processor, or using a hand blender, emulsify the oil with the vinegar and garlic.

Place the peppers on an oven tray covered with parchment paper, coat with the sauce using a kitchen brush, sprinkle over 3 tbsp of Duqqah (keep the rest in a glass jar up to 1 month) and the same quantity of bread crumbs.

Spray with extra oil.

Bake in the oven, 150° C fan, for around 50 minutes, until brown and crispy.

Season with salt and pepper and serve lukewarm.

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Posted in Sides, International, Recipes, Light recipes, Vegetarian
Jul 28 2017

Mediterranean Pepperonata

The secret of a perfectly tasty and creamy pepperonata is the breadcrumbs. Enjoy this wonderful recipe, whose results stay perfect even in the days to come.

Serves 4

  • 2 yellow pepper
  •  red pepper
  • 1 fresh chilly pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 spoon capers,
  • 3 spoons extravirgin olive oil
  • 2 spoons vinegar
  • 1 spoon breadcrumbs
  • pine nuts to garnish

Chop the onion and garlic and place in a large pan with the oil and red chilly pepper; let it golden, then add the pepper, previously sliced and cubed. Cook for 20 minuts, stirring every now and then. Pop also the capers into the pan.

Bring to the boil and add the vinegar; let it reduce and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.  Add some salt to taste and serve lukewarm or at a room temperature, even better the day after.  Garnish with some toasted pine nuts.

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Posted in Sides, Recipes, Light recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian
Jul 8 2017

Spaghetti with Pepper and champignon Caviar

If you want to make a successful summer spaghetti dish this recipe will surely suit you! Besides, you will be surprised that blended champignon have a consistency very similar to that of a precious caviar.

Serves 4

  • 600 gr champignon
  • half red pepper
  • half yellow pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 fresh chilly pepper
  • 100 ml extravirgin olive oil
  • bunch of parsley
  • 350 gr spaghetti

Place 1 garlic clove, the red chilly pepper and oil in a large pan and let it golden. Add the pepper previously cut to a brunoise (small cubes) and sautée for 20 minutes, stirring constantly. Eliminate the garlic.

Place the champignon in a blend and reduce to a creme, then add to the pepper together with the other garlic clove, finely chopped. Let it cook for further 7 minutes, then add salt to taste.

Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water, taking care of keeping away 1 cup water, and mix the pasta with the sauce, adding, if necessary, some cooking water.  Sprinkle with parsely and serve.

 

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Posted in Recipes, Light recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian
Oct 31 2015

Sauteed Nutty Spinach & Pepper

IMG_6650

If you’ve never tried to pair pepper and spinach, you’re in for a nice surprise. This dish echoes oriental flavours and its being luxuriously creamy, together with the crunchy mixed nuts, makes it a wonderful side, or even main, dish. If you decide to serve this recipe as a main dish, I’d suggest to add some plain basmati rice on the side. Also, this recipe is vegan and gluten free. In a nutshell, a good deed.

Serves 4-6

  • 1 kg spinach, thawed and finely chopped (both fresh and frozen work)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 big onion, chopped
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp extravirgin olive oil
  • 70 gr mixed nuts (or peanuts)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder

Heat oil in a large pan and sautee the onion, adding up to 1/2 cup  of hot water to help it soften. Let cook for 10 minutes over a very low heat, then turn the heat up and add the curry powder and turmeric. Fry for 2 minutes.

Finely dice the bell pepper and put in the sauce pan with the rest. Let cook over medium heat for 10 minuts, covered, stirring every now and then. When the pepper is tender add the spinach, well drained. Add some salt to taste, and let cook for 10 more minutes. Turn off the heat and pour in the coconut milk and stir well.
Transfer on a plate and add some nuts on top (roasted are best).

This keeps well for the next day or two. Just add the nuts before serving. Enjoy!

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Posted in Starters, Sides, International, Recipes, Main dishes, Glutenfree, Vegan, Vegetarian
Sep 30 2015

Black linguine with red pepper and champignon sauce

IMG_7006 (1024x752)

A very unique taste characterises this delicate, yet eye-catching pasta. This recipe also works with the normal wheat pasta, but the black one, i.e coloured with squid ink, looks and tastes the best. In case you have some sauce left, you could make an excellent bruschetta: here in Italy, it would be a wonderful aperitivo.

Serves 4

  • 350 gr black squid ink linguine (or normal)
  • 500 gr champignon mushrooms
  • 300 gr red bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 red chilli pepper
  • 120 ml extravirgin olive oil
  • 15 gr parsley, chopped

Prepare your mushrooms by cutting the base of the stem and quickly rinsing your champignons; now rinse the red bell pepper and place in a blender with the garlic and coarsely grate them. Heat the olive oil, add the pepper-garlic mix and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until golden. Do not forget to regularly stir.

IMG_6975 (1024x768)

Now place the champignons in the blander and whizz until they form a cream. Transfer to the pan with the pepper and garlic. Add the red chilly pepper, well crushed, and let cook for 10 minutes on a medium to high heat, regularly stirring. At the end add the parsley and add salt to taste.

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Boil the linguine in salted water for around 10 minutes (see instructions on the label). When cooked, save 1 cup of the boiling liquid and normally drain the rest of the pasta. Place the linguine in a bowl, pour the sauce over it and add some of the cooking water if the sauce is too thick. Mix well and serve.

 

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Posted in First course, Recipes, Light recipes, Vegan, Vegan, Vegetarian
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