If you were to serve this pepper stew with a bowl of rice, it could be a main course. We opted to have it along side baked chicken breasts that were stuffed with cheese and ham. So it served as a vegetable side dish. Either way, it was delicious!
I have been slowly working my way through some flagged recipes in the cook books that I received at Christmastime. This recipe comes from Michael Anthony's cookbook called V is for Vegetables. Anthony is the head chef, creative force, and partner behind New York's Gramercy Tavern. The cookbook has imaginative recipes for all manner of vegetables. I was intrigued by this recipe, as it contains a good amount of aromatics that really spice up the peppers. It also starts with the a good colorful array of sweet peppers and brings in some spicy serranos for good measure. I DO love a good spicy pepper blend! Ginger, lemongrass, garlic, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice all add their distinct hits too! Slow cook everything with some good olive oil to mix with the juices and you get a beautifully textured stew of vegetables.
Yeah. This book has some good takes on vegetables ... Sugar Snap Salad with Quinoa, Cauliflower Curry in a Bowl, Sautéed Chard Arancini, Scallion Pancakes, Sweet Corn, Tomato and Cranberry Bean Salad. These are just a few of the dishes that I have marked with Post-It notes. It's going to be a great garden year and the food prep is going to be fun! Back to this stew, though.
One interesting thing that Anthony does with this stew is to keep some bite to the lowly onion. Thin slices get added in the last ten minutes of stewing time. They soften a bit , but keep some bite to them. This really works well with the soft slipperiness of the pepper ribbons. Add some chopped parsley and fresh basil slivers and this dish is a pleasingly colorful addition to the dinner plate! Try it, you'll like it!
a Michael Anthony recipe
1/4 c. olive oil
1 1/2 lb. sweet peppers - yellows, reds, and oranges - seeded and de-veined, cut to ribbons
1 or 2 serrano chili peppers, cut to thin coins
1- 4-inch piece of lemongrass, bruised
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger root, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper
a generous handful of black olives, pitted and sliced in half
1 tbsp, capers, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
pinches of red pepper flakes and dried oregano
1 large onion, halved length-wise and thinly sliced
a squeeze of lemon juice
a generous handful each fresh flat-leaf parsley ( rough chop) and basil (sliced in ribbons)
Making the Stew:
1. Heat the olive oil in a deep fry pan and add the prepared peppers, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper. Stir everything together and cook over medium low heat, letting thing slowly stew until the peppers are going soft. This takes about 15 minutes or so.
2. Add the olives,vinegar, capers, and red pepper and oregano and let the vinegar cook down a few minutes.
3. Add the onions and lemon juice and let the stew cook for about 10 minutes. The onions should still have some bite/crunch to them.
4. Just before you turn the stew into a serving bowl, add the parsley and half of the basil. Mix the herbs through the stew and use the rest of the basil to top the stew, once it's in the serving bowl.
5. Serve the stew hot or just warm.