Sweet peppers & shallots in lemon oil

Sweet peppers & shallots in lemon oil

By
From
New Feast
Serves
4
Photographer
Alan Benson

Use a long sweet variety of pepper (such as bull’s horn or Hungarian) for this recipe and try to find a mix of colours, ranging from yellow to orange to variegated. Once roasted, both peppers and shallots are braised very gently in a lemon-spiced oil, to make a kind of confit. The recipe makes more oil than you’ll need for this recipe, but it’s hardly worth making in smaller quantities and, in any case, it is a lovely versatile oil that you can use in all kinds of dressings. Eat the peppers and shallots as you would peperonata: as a condiment, as part of a mezze selection or warmed through and served as a salad with peppery rocket leaves and soft creamy feta.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
8 long red capsicums
6 shallots, unpeeled
olive oil
strips peel from 1 lemon

Lemon oil

Quantity Ingredient
250ml spanish olive oil
2 whole lemons, quartered
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
3 star anise
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick

Method

  1. To make the lemon oil, put the oil in a large saucepan and heat gently to blood temperature. Put the lemons, garlic, coriander seeds, peppercorns, star anise, bay leaves and cinnamon stick into a bowl and pour on the olive oil. Leave to infuse overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with foil. Arrange the capsicums and shallots on the tray and drizzle with a little oil. Roast for 25 minutes, turning once, until the skins blister and char. Remove the capsicums from the oven and transfer them to a shallow bowl. Lower the oven temperature to 180°C and continue roasting the shallots for a further 5–10 minutes then remove them from the oven.
  3. When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, peel away and discard the skins from the capsicums and split them in half, leaving the stalks attached at the top to hold them together. Pull away and discard the seeds and membranes. Peel off the shallot skins and slice the flesh thinly.
  4. Put the capsicums and shallots in a shallow dish and add the lemon peel. Strain the lemon oil then measure 100 ml and pour it over the vegetables. (Decant the remaining oil into a sterilised bottle for use in salad dressings.) Place the dish in the oven and cook for 8 minutes.
  5. Drain the vegetables well before serving. If you’re not eating them straight away, store in a sealed container in the fridge where they will keep for up to 5 days.
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