Category Archives: peppers

Oven Baked Pepper and Onion Bhaji

We have eaten more than our fair share of meat in this household this week so last night I wanted to do something meatless.  I have posted onion bhajis before, but last night I didn’t feel like deep-frying.  I wanted something a little bit healthier.  So I decided to give cooking the bhajis baked in the oven a go and they taste just as good as the deep-fried variety.

I served them with a cauliflower curry, rice and a cucumber and yoghurt dip.  Very tasty it all was too, except I might add more spice to the cauliflower next time as a cauli can soak up a lot of flavour. So I will work on that before I post it here.

I used the same batter as last time, but because they were going to be oven baked I sweated the pepper and onion slices before putting them in the batter.  Then I could be sure they would be cooked through.

Gram flour is made from ground chickpeas and imparts a delicious nuttiness and a beautiful yellow colour.

1 small red pepper, sliced thinly
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp cumin seed
1 heaped tsp crushed chillies
100g gram flour
100ml warm water
salt and pepper

Method

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and sweat the onion and pepper until the onion is translucent and the pepper is tender. They shouldn’t brown.  Leave to cool.

Place the coriander and cumin seed in a dry pan and heat over a medium heat for a minute or two until their scent is released.  Tip them into a mortar and pestle (or use a bowl and rolling-pin) and grind them finely.

Sieve the gram flour into a bowl and add the coriander, cumin and crushed chillies and stir well. Pour in the warm water and whisk until smooth.  Add freshly ground pepper and salt. Leave the batter to rest for 30 minutes.

Put the pepper and onion into the batter and mix well.  Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto a greased baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 180°c, gas mark 4 or the Baking Oven of the Aga for about 15 minutes until golden and crunchy.

Marinated peppers

I am in a celebratory mood.  This is my 100th post.  When I started blogging in September last year to reach the goal of posting 100 recipes seemed very distant indeed.  I have enjoyed every minute, although, I fear my waistline is expanding exponentially. Yesterday I recorded the greatest number of views to my blog since I started. Today I am a very happy blogger indeed.

To add to this happiness we have been eating summery food for a couple of weeks now and enjoying some very lovely sunshine.  Marinated peppers is one of my favourite salads and it formed part of a whole hosts of summery salads I put together for tea the other night. The spread included minted aubergines (recipe coming soon), chorizo in red wine with feta, tomato salad and lettuce from the poly tunnel.  Some would call it a mezze, some tapas, I call it bits and bobs.

If I had waited a couple of nights we could have had our first Charlotte potatoes from the polytunnel too, as we had those this week too and very delicious they were too.  Life is very good indeed.

These marinated peppers are lovely and will happily sit in the fridge for a day developing their flavour, so are handy for parties as they can be made well ahead.  They look even better if you use a mixture of red, yellow and orange peppers.  I don’t particularly like green peppers but if you do, go for it.

This is the recipe if you are just using 1 pepper to serve 2 people, but it is easy to double, triple or quadruple.

1 red pepper
1 clove garlic
½ tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
lots of parsley

Method

Leaving the pepper whole, place onto a baking tray and roast in a hot oven until blackened.  Because I have an Aga I just place the pepper directly onto the floor of the roasting oven and turn every five minutes and it takes about twenty minutes for the pepper to blacken all over.  You can grill a pepper to the same effect or indeed hold it using large kitchen tongs over a gas flame.  Once it is blackened all over, place the pepper into a plastic food bag and tie to seal and leave for five minutes.  This steaming in the bag makes it easy to peel.  Peel the skin from the pepper, holding it over a bowl to catch any precious juices.  Remove the stalk and seeds and slice the roasted pepper into thin slices. Place in a shallow dish and pour over any juices.

Crush the garlic either with a garlic crusher or in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of sea salt.  Add the vinegar and mix well and then add the olive oil, mixing well again.  The measurements given above are for a classic vinaigrette, but I tend to splosh and taste, adjusting to my taste and I do like it a little on the acidic side so feel free to adjust to your own taste.  Season with more salt if necessary and pepper. Pour this dressing over the pepper and mix well.  When the pepper is totally cool, add plenty of parsley.  Place in the fridge but bring it out to get to room temperature before you want to serve it.