RED PEPPER-OLIVE-CAPER RELISH
¼ C pitted green olives, chopped
1 t garlic, minced
¼ C parsley, minced
2 T cornichons, minced
1 T capers, drained and chopped
1 t Dijon mustard
2 t balsamic vinegar
1 ea red pepper, roasted, peeled and chopped (plus juice from peeled peppers if desired) * you may substitute any variety/color pepper you choose here
2 T high quality olive oil
Combine all ingredients, seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Use right away or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
RED PEPPER ROMESCO SAUCE
1/3 C toasted whole hazelnuts or almonds
1 T sugar
1 ea garlic clove
1 ea red pepper, roasted, peeled and chopped
2 T fresh parsley leaves
1 t red wine or sherry vinegar
Salt and red pepper flakes to taste
Combine everything in food process and process until smooth. Sauce can be thinned with olive oil if a thinner sauce is desired. Use right away or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
ROASTED RED PEPPERS
With this technique peppers are roasted or charred to remove the skin, but in the process they develop a smoky, rich flavor that is absolutely delicious. Once roasted and peeled, they keep well in the refrigerator, covered in olive oil, for up to 2 weeks. Any type or color of pepper may be substituted for this preparation.
To roast over gas flame: Turn your burner on to the highest setting and place the pepper directly on the open flame. Using tongs turn pepper periodically until charred and blackened all over.
To roast in the oven: Preheat oven to 400 degree. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Toss pepper in small amount of olive oil and place on baking sheet. Roast in oven until well blackened. This should take about 30-35 minutes.
Remove charred pepper and place in a bowl and cover with plastic film. This will allow pepper to steam and will aid in removing the skin. Let rest for 30 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Holding the pepper over the bowl, carefully remove the blackened skin. Take care to catch the juice from the pepper. One strained, it is a flavorful addition to the sauce if you’d like to add it. DO NOT wash your peppers under running water to remove the charred skin. You will wash away the flavor you’ve developed from the charring.
Note: I don’t worry about having a little bit of the charred skin left on the pepper. I think it adds significant flavor and I like the rustic look of it.