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“Magic” Peppers and Salad with Pine Nuts & Capers


Description

Recipe for magic peppers adapted from Sally Schneider’s The Improvisational Cook

Notes: The only part of this recipe I suggest you following to a T (or mostly to a T) is the time (25 to 30 min) and temperature (450ºF). Otherwise, just toss the peppers — however many you have on hand — with oil to taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

As noted above, the magic peppers can be used in countless ways from free-form tarts to pasta salads to bruschetta.


Ingredients

for the magic peppers:

  • 2 lbs bell peppers (or other)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

for the salad:

  • 1 to 2 cups diced magic peppers
  • 1 cup (or more) halved cherry tomatoes
  • 6 oz. fresh mozzarella, diced to yield about 1 cup
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted*
  • roughly chopped basil or cilantro or whatever herbs you have on hand
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar such as white balsamic, balsamic, red wine, etc.
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil fried bread**

*Toast in a small skillet over medium-low heat checking frequently — they quickly turn from lightly golden to burnt.

**Toss 3/4-inch cubes of bread with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toast in a large skillet over medium-low heat until golden or in the oven at 400ºF for 10 minutes or so.


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Cut each pepper in half through the core. Remove seeds and stem. Cut each half into three or four pieces. Place strips in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat.
  2. Arrange peppers slices, cut-side up, on a large baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until peppers are tender and slightly browned on the edges — thinner peppers will cook more quickly, so start checking at 25 minutes if not sooner.
  3. Serve warm or at room temperature or continue on and make the salad:
  4. Toss together the diced magic peppers, halved cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, capers, toasted pine nuts, herbs, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Fold in bread. Toss again, taste, and adjust seasoning.