from one generation to the next
In the best possible way my life has been kinda crazy lately. My daughter married her long time partner a couple of weeks ago and pre wedding parties and dinners coupled with overseas house guests meant I consumed an excessive amount of alcohol, too many coffees, too much fried food and a miniscule amount of fresh vegetables for close to a month.
The wedding was a wonderful celebration but now it’s time to return some discipline to my life, to slow down, to limit meat and dairy, booze and coffee, and once again mindfully plan and prepare meals of beautiful fresh vegetables.
Generally we consume a lot of vegetables, and recently we’ve been eating mostly vegetables, three times a day. When a new recipe idea crosses my path it will have been tested within a few days, tweaked to suit our taste then made again and again. My family is accustomed to my obsessive habits.
In the midst of all the pre wedding madness I picked up a reserved copy of Diana Henry’s “Simple” from our local library. The timing was perfect.
This recipe is adapted from that book. Henry suggests serving the gratin as a side dish to lamb, but we preferred it as the star of our meal. It was perfect with simple rustic accompaniments, crusty sourdough bread and a rocket salad with smoked almonds.
The leftover charred pepper mix was equally delicious the next day, served at room temperature as a bruschetta topping. I’ll be returning to this recipe regularly over summer.
Charred Red Pepper Gratin serves 2 as a light main meal
4 large fleshy red peppers
5 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
10g chopped pitted blacked olives
1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed
about 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
20g stale sourdough crumbs
50g crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoon olive oil
Char the red peppers over a gas flame then seal inside a BPA free lidded plastic storage box to steam.
OR Rub the skins of the peppers with oil and grill until the skins are blackened and blistered then seal in a lidded plastic storage box to steam.
When the peppers are cool enough to handle peel off the skins and remove the seeds and membranes.
Pre heat the oven to 180C
Cut the pepper flesh into strips then place into a mixing bowl.
Add the olives, anchovies, capers, oregano, chilli and half of both the breadcrumbs and feta cheese.
Mix to combine then stir through 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
Put the peppers into a shallow oiled ovenproof dish,
Mix together the remaining breadcrumbs and feta cheese and scatter over the top of the peppers.
Bake until bubbling and the breadcrumbs are browned, about 30 minutes.