I love roasted peppers in a jar. Well, they don’t have to be in a jar, they can be in any container you want really, but they can look pretty so why would you hide them in plastic, or one of those lovely brown stoneware pate dishes? As an aside, I’m very fond of those brown stoneware dishes – they conjure up happy memories of home. At lunchtime there always seemed to be something delicious in a brown stoneware pot: mackerel pate, pork rillettes, roasted peppers in olive oil, etc.
But, it’s glass jars all the way for me these days, apart from anything else, I can seal them up and take them with me on a Monday morning to the flat in Edinburgh, or the office for jazzing up tasty lunches.
Slow roasted peppers in a jar
3 bell peppers – you can use any colours, but in my experience green peppers often end up looking a wee bit grey, so I prefer to use 2 red and one yellow.
At least 2 big cloves of garlic
2 small onions, or one large
a large sprig of rosemary
a couple of small bay leaves
a red chilli pepper
a glug or so of balsamic vinegar
a tsp honey, if you want it
any other herbs, spices that you fancy – eg thyme, cayenne pepper
a good pouring of olive oil (if you have any at the bottom of a jar of sun dried tomatoes, anchovies, or artichokes, or other such tasty goodies, then use that)
more olive oil – you’ll need enough to cover the peppers once they are in the jar
a grinding or two of black pepper
a mere sprinkle of maldon sea salt
- Chop the peppers into large chunks – I like mine about 1.5″ across. Put them in a big bowl.
- Cut the onions in half from top to bottom. Lay it on the chopping board on its cut side, and then cut it into wedges. Depending on the size of onion you’ll get 3 – 5 wedges. Add them to the bowl with the peppers.
- Place the flat side of a large knife on top of the garlic clove, and then smash it with your fist – this will release the garlic easily from its papery skin and will also give you a nicely smooshy clove. You still want it pretty much whole(ish) but all squished so you benefit from the release of all that tasty juiciness. Yup, throw these in on top of the peppers and onions too.
- Chop the chilli and add as much of it as you want – if you don’t like heat, don’t bother. I like heat in most foods, but this doesn’t need much, if any, so feel free to omit it.
- Strip the rosemary from its stalks and throw the leaves into the bowl.
- Add any other herbs and spices you are using.
- Now today I had a jar of honey that was solidifying in the jar, so I added a tsp or so of honey into a wee mug and poured a wee bit of boiling water on top and stirred till it was liquid. Then I added a big splish splosh of balsamic vinegar and a good glug or two of olive oil. Mix all this together and add it to the bowl.
- Mix all the ingredients together to coat everything in the dressing.
- Pour into a single layer onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with a grinding of black pepper and a wee sprinkle of maldon sea salt. Don’t bother if you only have table salt.
- Pop in a medium oven (it was gas mark 3 ish I think).
You’ll probably smell when it’s ready. Did it take about 45 minutes? I don’t really know. You don’t want crispy burnt bits, but you do want soft peppers and caramelised brown edges on some of the onions and peppers.
Cool for a bit, then put into a jar. Pour over enough olive oil so the peppers are covered and keep in a fridge for a week or two. You can eat it immediately if you want, but it’s really nicest after all the flavours have had a chance to infuse in the jar, so I would leave it a couple of hours at least.
In the summer months, you might want to add slices of courgette or aubergine to this. Or beetroot in the autumn. And if you want mushrooms, add mushrooms.
Eat it as a salad accompaniment, or with cold meats, in a sandwich with hummus, or added to a bowl of soup (if you’re doing this don’t do it straight out of the fridge or it will be a bit weird, although I know Nigel Slater would argue for that juxtaposition of hot and cold). Or I’m sure you’ll find other ways of using it to jazz up your meals.
- Roasted Asparagus (potterybarn.com)