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Fast Tomato and Pepper Concoctions

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March 15, 2016 / Vegetarian / By

When the peppers have a lovely fleshy texture to them, they are so inviting - the skins so glossy, the smell so fresh and healthy. I am not really all that fond of raw pepper but cooked they add flavor to so many things.

Just recently, I came home from a visit to the local supermarket in Dubai with a huge bag of green and glossy peppers from Oman that cost very little. I could have paid 20 times the price to get imported ones from Europe, weighed down with food-miles, but I chose not to. I also happened to have some delicious dried tomatoes, not sundried just dried. Sometimes I wonder if there is enough sun in the whole world for the volume of sundried tomatoes available. Of course there is, but it is much harder to sun dry tomatoes than it is to air dry them in machines, and I suspect that there is some misleading going on in the descriptions at times. While I am on this subject, the number of wild mushrooms being made into very ordinary soup in very ordinary restaurants also seems like an exaggeration.

Well, let’s put that issue aside. I set to and made the simplest, flavorsome sauce with the following ingredients:

2 green peppers sliced and deseeded

A good handful of dried tomatoes

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

Olive oil and water

3 cloves of garlic previously roasted (raw garlic would be fine, just add it earlier)

Salt and pepper to taste

I cooked the peppers, tomato paste and dried tomatoes in a frying pan in the olive oil, adding water and covering with a lid to soften. When softened, I blitzed the mix in a bowl with a kitchen wand adding the previously roasted garlic and seasoning.

When I roast garlic, I always try to do too much for just this sort of eventuality. This sauce is ideal to serve with toasted bread as an antipasto. But on this occasion I teamed it with a little salmon and crispy bread to make a hasty meal that I knew was full of variety and vitamins, even if it looked a little mono-colored, a situation I try to avoid.

On another occasion, I would add either smoked paprika or chilli for variety. Yum.

But there were still peppers and tomatoes. Now, any of you that read my food stories may have noted that I am a fan of the easy option. If I can cook everything in the oven, I will and that is where this recipe came from. 

Tomato, Pepper and Quinoa Cups

Again, as easy as could be. Slice the peppers in half and scoop out the seeds. Chop a tomato. The ratio seems to be one pepper to one medium sized tomato. Put the chopped tomato into each half of the pepper. Add 2 teaspoons of quinoa, half a chopped garlic clove and a splash of olive oil to each cup and mix a little. Season.

Now to avoid dishes, fashion a sort of tray by taking a large sheet of tin foil and rolling it up at the edges, place the cups inside and roast at 200 degrees for about 40 minutes. The quinoa will swell and split, absorbing the liquid from the tomato. A leaf of basil or a little chopped parsley to garnish and you have a flavorsome side dish to accompany almost anything - great with chicken or a little bruschetta.   


Country: United Arab Emirates

Province/State: Dubayy

City: N/A

Address: N/A

Zip/Post Code: N/A

Location Tips: N/A

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Price Guide:N/A (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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