It’s taken a time to arrive but at long last we seem to have some sunny days to enjoy. Not quite barbecue weather as yet (unless you’re a brave soul) but certainly the salad or lighter food kind. At times like this I don’t want to labour in the kitchen whilst everyone else is strolling outdoors and so rely upon a few fail-safe recipes that herald the start of summer.
Many of these might rely upon a marinated piece of meat, chicken, fish or selection of vegetables that are perfect for grilling/broiling speedily – others are roasted/baked well-ahead and then mixed and matched with flavoursome sauces, salsas and side dishes. Even the most humble roast chicken takes on a royal role when paired with tiny new potatoes, a salsa (say mango and mint) and a super-stewed favourite like ratatouille.
However today I have made a different pepper vegetable accompaniment, a peperonata, with colourful red and yellow peppers/capsicums and canned tomato fillets. Made well in advance we shall enjoy it this evening (out of doors if still warm) with a roast chicken and some spicy sausages. I shall serve it warm but it is equally good served cold as part of an anti-pasti. Any leftover will be used to make a quick lunch or supper dish folded into a little cooked whole wheat spaghetti with extra basil and a dusting of Parmesan cheese, or served with prawns/shrimp and pasta or cold deli meats in my bariatric bento lunch box. The beauty is that it also freezes well so why not make a double batch?
low-fat cooking spray or mist
2 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 bay leaves
4 red peppers/capsicums, cored and thinly sliced
2 yellow peppers/capsicums, cored and thinly sliced
400 g/14 oz tomatoes (I used Cirio tomato fillets)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1. Generously spritz a large non-stick pan. Heat, add the onions, garlic and bay leaves and cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the peppers/capsicums, tomato fillets and salt and pepper to taste, mixing well. Cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir in the basil and serve warm or allow to cool and chill until required.
WLS PORTION: 1/2
V suitable for Vegetarians
CALORIES PER PORTION: 120