1kg red peppers
6 tbsp olive oil
A small handful of raisins
700g ripe tomatoes
100g whole peeled almonds
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
Cut the peppers into 1cm strips, discarding the seeds and pith.
In a large frying pan, warm 6 tbsp olive oil over a medium flame and gently fry the peppers with a pinch of salt until soft and floppy. Meanwhile, plump the raisins in hot water for 10 minutes.
Peel the tomatoes by plunging them into boiling water then cold water – at which which point the skins should slip away – then chop roughly.
Chop the almonds in two. Add the tomatoes, plumped raisins, almonds, vinegar and sugar to the peppers and cook the mixture for 15 minutes – or until the stew is rich and thick. Taste and adjust salt, vinegar and sugar if necessary.
In the spirit of this blog, this is something I have not cooked before. It comes from an article in the Guardian which was talking about summer food in Rome. This was mentioned as an accompaniment to spatchcocked Devilled Chicken, cooked on the barbecue. I also did that but, to be honest this pepper stew was the star of the show. First of all the colour is fantastically summery - vivid red and as an accompaniment to a devilled chicken this seems entirely appropriate.
The revelation was the addition of blanched almonds which are cooked in the stew. They end up looking a little like chick pease but don't let that put you off, they add a distinctive texture and flavour which is a perfect compliment to the sweet peppers and tomatoes that have been stewed down to their glorious essence. I served this hot, as recommended with the chicken but also had it at room temperature as a side dish with cold meat and other barbecued meat since - and it works equally well both ways. It is an unusual but very summery dish, which tastes of sunshine.