In my last post I mentioned a desire to overcome my Christmas “hangover”. One method by which this might be accomplished has already been mentioned – the hair of the dog. However, it appears that a more effective method may be required. This is where my new, roughly vegetarian, diet comes in. By ‘roughly vegetarian’ I mean that I shan’t sniff at a soupçon of a fairly healthy, meat-filled dish, but my main diet shall consist of vegetables and fruit. Surely, this must be as close to a cure for a food-hangover as it is possible to get?
As has already been mentioned, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall shall be providing one or two of these recipes. Indeed, this recipe is adapted from one of the same title found in his newest book: River Cottage Veg Everyday! Though, I shan’t bang on about this jolly good little read any longer, for fear of boring many of my readers to tears – sorry Hugh.
Peperonata is a dish which has only recently become known to me, yet it is already one of my favourites. If done correctly, it is so achingly rich, sumptuous and juicy – a real feast for both one’s eyes and one’s taste buds. I’ll admit that it can only be considered a half-way house between decadence and health; while it contains on vegetables, they are underpinned by more than a modicum of olive oil. It is also of vital importance to stress just how patient one should be when preparing this dish. Please give it the full cooking time, or you’ll simply be a little disappointed. You see, the onions and the peppers need time to break down and sweeten; not to mention the fact that the bitterness must be removed from the seeds of the plum tomatoes. I sincerely hope you try this one, as it really should not be missed.
• 2 medium onions, finely sliced
• 1 red pepper, finely sliced
• 1 yellow pepper, finely sliced
• 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
• 400g tin plum tomatoes
• 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
• Olive oil
• Salt and Pepper
1. Gently fry the onions in a healthy dose of olive oil for around 10 minutes – by this point they should be soft and golden. Add the garlic and peppers and continue to cook for another 20 minutes, the peppers should become visibly soft.
2. Add the tomatoes, break them down and allow to stew for 30-40 minutes, one may need to add a little water. Season to taste before serving with pasta or bread.
Cost: This simple, rustic meal is, as one would expect, very cheap to make. The only real expenses are the red and yellow peppers and even they can be found reasonably cheaply. Indeed, the entire pan of food, including pasta or bread, should cost around £1.10, at a maximum. Then again, as with most recipes, I suppose the cost of ingredients is dictated by the area in which you live.