Grilling the green peppers and onions under the broiler imparts a smokiness and savouriness to the dish that can’t be achieved if it was just simply sauteed. This dish is delicious. Expect it to tastes like slightly charred smoky green peppers mixed with the salty savouriness of the olives and some tartness from the tomatoes.  I serve it as part of a meze or a pre-dinner dip. I could eat a lot of this with some soft flat bread, tortilla chips, grilled fish, pasta or on its own.  If vegetables always cooked this tasty, I might consider becoming a vegetarian.  Impossible. I love my bacon.  There is still bite to this chunky dip as the vegetables are not overcooked and the flavours improve with keeping. It is a good idea to make this the day before a party so it frees you somewhat from the kitchen on party day itself. I like that.

Roasted Green Bell Peppers With Tomatoes And Olives

Prep: 10 minutes 
Cook: 10 minutes grill + 20 minutes stovetop
Inactive: 10 minutes for grilled vegetables to cool
Level: Easy
Makes: ~3 cups
Oven Temperature:
Can recipe be doubled? Yes
Make ahead? Up to 2 days refrigerated.

Ingredients

15.8 oz (450 g) green bell peppers
8 oz (225 g) onions with skins (about 2 medium size)
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 can of 14.5 oz (411 g) diced tomatoes
2 Tablespoons sliced green olives
1 to 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Dried spices
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon paprika/chilli powder
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt

Method

1. You need to char the bell peppers and onions whole (with skins left on), completely uncut. Turn on your oven grill. You will be placing bell peppers and onions directly on your oven rack. Adjust oven rack closer to the top so that the tops of the bell peppers will be between 1″ to 1.5″ (2.5 cm to 3.8 cm) away from the heating element above.
2. To catch any drips from the roasting bell peppers, line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Place it under the oven rack.
3. Place the green bell peppers and the onions directly on the oven rack. Adjust the rack if necessary.

4. Depending on the heat from your broiler, it should take 5 to 10 minutes for each side of the bell peppers and onions to get charred. Rotate the vegetables and watch that they don’t burn. You will be peeling off the black outer skins when they are done so do not be afraid to get them nicely charred.
5. Place the charred bell peppers in a vessel, cover tightly with plastic wrap and cool. Alternatively, you could seal them in a heavy duty plastic bag or a plastic container with a lid. Leave the charred onions to cool on its own. No need to cover them.

6. When the bell peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the charred skins and remove as much seeds as you can. Save any juices from the bell peppers. Dice the bell peppers and add any juices to it. Set aside.  Do the same for the charred onions.

Let’s fry 

1. Heat up the olive oil on medium high heat. Fry the garlic for a minute or until it smells aromatic. Add the tomatoes and fry for 10 minutes or until most of the tomato liquid has evaporated and the oil separates. Take a look at my frying pan of tomatoes.

2. Add the dried spices and the diced onions. Fry 5 to 10 minutes until the onions softens a little.
3. Add the bell peppers stir to mix and warm through. Finally add the sliced olives. Stir. Taste and adjust seasonings.
4. Remove from the burner and transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil.

Tips

Want to use this as a sauce instead to sauce pasta?
Use this over spaghetti or penne, sprinkled with parmesan. If you like it with more of a sauce, add another can of diced tomatoes and adjust seasonings.

Leftovers can be stretched to sauce pasta too
If the Roasted Bell Peppers With Tomatoes And Olives are leftover from the day before, add some tomato passata (cooked and strained tomatoes that often comes in tall glass bottles), heat through and adjust seasoning before eating.

Pairs well with Labneh – Lebanese Drained Yogurt for a light lunch
Labneh has a taste and texture similar to like a slightly sour cream cheese but of course it is healthier. You will find an image of it on the table of meze below this page. A simple vegetarian meal would be a plate of Roasted Bell Peppers With Tomatoes And Olives and a small side of Labneh lightly drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. In fact, that was what I had for lunch. It all went down too quickly in my tummy for me to take a picture.

WHAT’S COMING UP NEXT?

Moroccan inspired round bread loaves. They are 2 different yet similar loaves. One is baked with spelt flour and the other with stone ground whole wheat flour. Which is which? Find out in my upcoming post for the recipe that baked these soft loaves.

To recap, this post is part of my series on Meze, A Selection of Wonderful Little Bites. With the festive season fast approaching, it is time to start thinking about some party food for those year-end parties. Year-end party menus are often more elaborate and require more time to prepare. Invariably there will be more dinner guests to feed. You might even find that you have to host that extra one, two or three parties. More than a little effort is probably required of you to decorate your house and dining table for the festive season. This is the time when I appreciate more than ever those recipes that are quick and easy but I am especially grateful for recipes that can be prepared in advance. Something that you might want to consider is to host a party where you serve a selection of meze (a selection of small dishes). A lot of the work can be done ahead. Take a look at my post on  Meze, A Selection of Wonderful Little Bites to find out more.

My recent meze party inspired my series on ‘little bites’ for your upcoming year-end parties. Links to recipes below.
Advertisements