February 28, 2009

To Many Peppers

I have found a wonderful fruit and veg shop in Eastwood- 5 minutes from my house. The produce is fresh, the shop is always packed to the gills with customers and the prices are great! I am pretty sure they sell to local restaurants and caterers as a lot of the produce is bundled up into 1-2-3 kg bags for a ridiculous price. Last week I brought a two kilo bag of red peppers (capsicums) for $2.99- BARGAIN!
 I knew I didn't really need two kilos of red peppers but I couldn't resist. In my mind I said I was going to roast them, stuff them, stir fry them etc. It was a hot week people and I was flat out with bits and bobs of jobs to do so the roasting never got done, I didn't stuff them, however I did stir fry one, chopped another into a fried rice and the rest I made into this 
great sauce. This sauce would have to be a favorite of mine. I make it when ever I have to many peppers, tomatoes or eggplant. If I have extra of one then I make that the feature ingredient and the other ingredients follow suit. I make the sauce in a big batch so I can bottle it (or freeze it) and use it for many dinner ideas. The night I made this one we had it over pasta with shavings of parmesan cheese and  chili flakes added at the last minute (boys not to keen on the chili flakes that why I add them at the end). I will also use it to dip bread into instead of a dip. Spread it in sandwiches, serve with polenta chips as a little entree- the list goes on.

When making this sauce I chop all my ingredients first so everything is ready to go before cooking.

Pepper Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, diced into a half inch dice
2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 eggplant, small, diced into a half inch dice
3 red peppers, seeded quartered and then thinly sliced
2 beef tomatoes, large, roughly diced
3 Tbsp red wince vinegar
1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped
salt and pepper for seasoning

Heat a medium fry pan (preferably with a thick bottom) on medium low heat and add olive oil.
Swirl oil around pan, once completely covered add onion and garlic and saute until onion is soft- about 3-4 minutes. Add eggplant, stir for a few minutes to combine then season with 1/2 tsp salt and a good grind of pepper.
Add peppers then pop a lid on and cook for 8-10 minutes on LOW heat.

Once the eggplant and peppers have softened add chopped tomatoes and red wine vinegar, give it a good stir then leave to simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes. You will need to stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

After 20 minutes, give it a stir and have a taste. You might need to adjust seasoning. 
Pull it off the heat, add your parsley and then serve for dinner over just about anything.
If you are really enjoying the sauce but don't want to eat it all at once pop it in the fridge and it will last for up to a week in a sealed container.

Note: Adding chillies, olives or capers also add another level of flavor to this sauce, however you might want to do that after you have served the kids.

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