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Entries in red pepper (5)

Monday
Mar172014

chorizo, feta and tomato salad

the weather in london has been very spring-like recently and i’ve really been wanting to make the most of this with my cooking. having said that, this salad was also a bit of an effort is using up various things which had been lurking in the fridge or freezer for a bit longer than i’d have liked.

i sliced a couple of chorizo sausages (the raw, cooking ones) and fried them in a little oil until they started to release their own oils. i then added  some fennel seeds, sliced red onion and red pepper and let these cook until the vegetables were soft and had begun to caramelise, so they added a lovely sweetness to the salad.

salt (not too much as the feta will be salty), pepper, a generous glug of balsamic vinegar and a tin of cannellini beans were the next additions and once everything had warmed through i added some halved cherry tomatoes which i let cook for just a few minutes as i wanted to keep their fresh, raw flavour (unlike a lot of tomatoes at this time of year, they were really flavoursome).

if i’d had any parsley or basil, i’d have added this now, just before serving in a large bowl, scattered with crumbled feta cheese and some fresh crusty bread – the first meal of 2014 that i’ve eaten in the garden.

Monday
Mar032014

lamb meatballs with peppers and feta

this was a bit of a random meal – i knew that i wanted to make meatballs and i had a plan to serve them with pitta breads, hummus, salad and pickles, but when i went shopping i got distracted and completely forgot about my plan.

so, a change of direction. a tomato and red pepper sauce flavoured with cumin and coriander, which the meatballs were cooked in after i’d grilled them for 10 minutes (turning regularly) to brown them. the meatballs were flavoured with preserved lemon, harissa, some smoked garlic and parsley and i added an egg to help bind everything together. feta scattered over the dish before it went into the oven for half an hour – covered in foil for half the time and open for the remaining 15 minutes – and all served with some lemony couscous.

the dish is based on this recipe, but much scaled back to make it quicker to pull together.

Wednesday
Aug012012

slow-roasted lamb with mediterranean vegetables and feta

this is the perfect dish for a hot sunny day when you really don’t want to have to put too much effort into knocking up something delicious. it was inspired by a picture i saw in a magazine and is very simple to make.

slow roasted lamb is the starting point – i used neck (which has the advantage of being cheap) which was roasted with onions, garlic, lemon and herbs. having said that, i have plans to repeat this dish next weekend, when our house has filled up with olympic visitors, using a shoulder of lamb. you can also use leftovers – just wrap them in foil and warm them in the oven, i don’t think the meat needs to be particularly hot.

about 40 minutes before the meat is ready and you want to eat, put a tray of chunked mediterranean vegetables into the oven – aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes, peppers, fennel were my choices. season with salt, pepper and a few chilli flakes plus the juice of a lemon (add the lemon to the tray as well, sliced into centimetre pieces – it will caramelise and add a lovely flavour) and olive oil.

once everything is ready i piled the vegetables onto a serving platter, topped with the lamb (take it off the bone if you use a leg or shoulder), plus crumbled feta cheese, grated lemon zest and some shredded mint and/or basil. serve with a green salad, some hummus and flat breads, for scooping everything up.

Monday
Mar122012

spring salmon with lemon, basil and broccoli

the weather in london was wonderful this weekend – bright, mild and dry which meant i got to spend a couple of hours in the garden, tidying it up after several wintery months of neglect. and then we had a late lunch, outside, while we enjoyed the final bits of sunshine – so exciting to be eating in the garden again!

this dish was inspired by a lovely lunch that friends cooked for us last week. in an ovenproof dish i put chopped chilli and garlic, tenderstem broccoli, chunks of red peppers, cherry tomatoes, the juice of a lemon plus the squeezed lemon cut into chunks, a couple of chopped anchovies, some capers, a handful of basil leaves plus a glug of both white wine and olive oil. oh, and some black pepper.

i cooked this for 10 minutes at 180c and then added my salmon, which was wrapped in smoked pancetta, and cooked it for another 15 minutes. a final few minutes under the grill to crisp up the pancetta and it was done. serve with crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Monday
May102010

red pepper and chorizo paella

moro's chorizo and spinach paella is an old favourite and perfect if you need a "meat hit" after an inadvertent week of vegetarian meals. i normally follow the recipe to the letter (well, not quite, it calls for the addition of pork fillet which i don't bother with, preferring to increase the chorizo content) but this weekend i made a change.

i used a red pepper in place of the specified green pepper. a small change but one that really affected the dish, and for the better i think. it was much sweeter and richer in flavour which balanced really well with the spiciness that came from the picante chorizo and picante smoked paprika that i used (the recipe calls for mild chorizo and sweet paprika but i like the chilli kick that picante versions add).

a small change can be a really lovely way to rediscover something old and familiar.