Monday, 27 August 2012 - , , , 2 comments

RECIPE : Italian Caramelised Yellow Peppers with Capers


When I was 18, I spent my summer as an Au-Pair in Livorno, Italy. This is the dish that I couldn't wait to cook for my family when I returned as I had never tasted anything like it before!
I'm still making it 30 years later.

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 I suppose it's a kind of sweet and sour mix of flavours but not in the way we would normally associate them. This is sweet, salty, tangy, pungent and distinctive. It works as a beautiful side dish to accompany roast meats, or something like my shredded poached chicken. (Click HERE for recipe).
That Summer, I learnt not to rush a good dish - this one takes time. I also realised that you don't have to eat everything piping hot. This is best served warm to appreciate the complex flavours.
(It's also great cold but not chilled, like a relish or chutney).

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This is 3pp/approx.400kcal for the WHOLE amount,
2pp/approx.200kcal per portion if you divide the amount into 2 portions,
1pp/approx.100kcal per portion if you divide the amount into 3 or 4 portions

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You will need : (For 3-4 Portions)

6 yellow peppers
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
(or any mild white wine vinegar)
Artificial granular sweetener to taste

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Heat the olive oil and sugar in a large frying pan. This is one recipe where the olive oil and the sugar can not be replaced by low-fat alternatives as they form a syrup that caramelises the peppers, although I have reduced the amounts significantly. Having established that, some extra Frylight oil can be used if necessary, when frying the peppers. A little artificial sweetener can also be added later in the cooking process when fine-tuning the flavours.


Cut the peppers into chunky strips and fry on a medium heat. It may seem like a large amount, but they shrink down to about half the volume when cooked, and always seem to get eaten! As the juices start to release from the peppers, give the occasional stir. Allow to cook slowly for 40-50 minutes.


Eventually, the peppers will take on this beautiful, caramelised hue. This is when to add the capers with a little of their pickling juice, the vinegar and some artificial sweetener to taste.


Turn the heat down, cover the pan with a lid, (even an ill-fitting one). Allow to steam and soften, cooking slowly and stirring occasionally, for another 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow to sit and start to cool down, until you are ready to serve it.


I served mine on a bed of salad leaves with my poached, shredded chicken on top, but this is a robust dish and works equally well with hot or cold roast beef, pork, lamb, or even salmon as a delicious relish/side dish.
It's a great vegetarian dish too-perhaps served with some ricotta, half fat mozzarella or griddled halloumi.

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Bellissimo!

This is my entry to the
#TuscanyNowCookOff competition.
Here is a link to their page!
(Click HERE)

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2 comments:

Amee Livingston 7 September 2012 at 21:08

A beautiful clean eating dish! LOVE!

Janey 7 September 2012 at 23:19

Glad you like it Amee! xx

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