I had a hard time generating enthusiasm for this week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie: Roasted Peppers. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it. In fact, they are delicious. It’s just that I regularly roast peppers, so it wasn’t the most exciting recipe for me.
On the positive side, I usually broil them. Ever the rule-follower, I tried Dorie’s “new to me” method of roasting them in a hot oven instead. Mary’s commented during the week that she had to crank the oven up from the recommended 425F to 500F. I took that to heart and started at 450F, figuring that if the first side of peppers wasn’t charring when it was time to turn them, I could turn it up further. My selected temperature worked like a charm. I’m not sure what would have happened at the recommended lower temperature, but at 450F, turning the peppers every 15 minutes, my peppers were done after 45 minutes.
The roasted peppers rest in a covered bowl until they are cool enough to handle. I used the foil that lined the baking sheet, but usually I use a plate as a cover. Then, the charred skin is scrapped off, and the seeds and membranes removed from the insides. As the pepper are tidied up, they tear themselves into natural pieces.
The pepper strips are layered into a dish, sprinkled with salt and pepper and herbs (in my case, simply parsley) and then doused with fruity olive oil. Voila!
The roasted peppers made the perfect addition to our “grazing” dinner, or indoor picnic, alongside sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, beet salad, and the sweetest of summer corn.
Have a great weekend! I’ll be admiring the view of the lake here at our cottage in Maine. Can you hear Mama and Baby Loon calling?
After cooking over three-quarters of the recipes in Around My French Table for French Fridays with Dorie, I’d characterize the recipes as falling into one of two camps. One would be a set of classic French recipes that are broken down into steps that make it less intimidating and very doable for a patient home cook. These have expanded my cooking horizons into uncharted territory. The other category are super simple recipes that delicious and serve as a launching off point for a multitude of variations for the creative cook. This week’s recipe for Piperade Stir-Fry falls into the second category.
This quick side dish goes with anything and takes little effort to put together. Strips of multi-colored bell peppers are stir-fried. The flavor is boosted by adding vinegar which caramelizes as it boils away. Finally, a handful of slivered red onion, a dab of minced garlic, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and Voila!
I loved the vibrant colors and the tangy undertone of the vinegar. I used red wine vinegar, but this would be amazing with balsamic vinegar. I served the peppers with roasted chicken, but it would be just as good with steak or fish. The piperade stir-fry would also complement olives and other nibbles on an appetizer platter. I look forward to adding vinegar to other vegetables as the summer progresses. I’m thinking sugar snap peas, green beans, carrots, and other firm vegetables.