I hope you enjoyed my travel and food journey through New York over the past couple of weeks. There have been many times since my return where I wished I could jet off each weekend, see some new friends again and sample more of the city’s great food.
I’m thinking New York could become a yearly thing and I have some ideas for the next time! I have one more (final) post to add about my New York stay but I’ll delay that one for a bit as I’m kinda hungry to get back into my regular blogging step.
I’m most comfortable creating or trying new dishes, photographing it (quickly as possible as my food photo subjects are also meal subjects) and ultimately sharing the dish with you.
This dish involves two of my favourite ingredients…potatoes and red peppers. Potatoes are filing, potatoes taste great and potatoes are versatile. Potatoes can be boiled, friend, baked, steamed and used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Peppers…Oh how do I love thee pepper. As the son of two parents from the northern Greek prefecture of Florina, it’s almost by default that I would adore peppers. Greeks by and large enjoy peppers but I think the Greeks in the north love them just a little bit more.
My dad will have peppers in some form or the other in his meal. My father also has a thing for hot peppers. We’re not talking spicy but hot, blow your head-off, speaking in tongues /I think I see God kinda-hot.
I had an uncle who was so enamored with peppers (especially hot ones) that he would bring small chilis with to a wedding reception and snip some into his banquet dinner!
Red peppers all across Greece are referred to as “Î Î¹Ï€ÎµÏÎ¹ÎÏ‚ Î¦Î»Ï‰ÏÎ¯Î½Î·Ï‚” or “Florina Peppers. Yes folks, we’re that fond of peppers that the red ones are associated with the Prefecture of Florina!
As most of your will agree, tomatoes around this time of suck. Well, most of them. Here in Canada, we have quite the hot-house industry for growing vegetables indoors and I even saw some imported Ontario “on the vine” tomatoes at Whole Foods in New York!
I usually stick with cherry tomatoes in the winter as they are the only option for anything with taste but don’t give up – there’s an alternative….make the red pepper your winter tomato!
Red peppers have more vitamin C than an orange and so on a health aspect, you want red peppers in your winter diet and some of you might even have a phobia about scurvy. Eat red peppers!
The best way to roast red peppers is on a gas or charcoal grill. Us Canadians are crazy that way (we’ll grill all year ’round) but we’re also realists….standing for hours charring peppers is a sure way to get sick.
Each September, my family roasts bushels of sweet and hot peppers for the long Canadian winter. If your don’t have a charcoal or gas grill, use your stovetop to char your peppers but be prepared for a hearty post-charring clean-up…it will be messy.
Bushels of peppers get charred/blackened on the grill and then they are placed on a large tray and covered so that they can “sweat” before being preserved.
My family’s favourite method for preserving roasted peppers is to freeze them. In one of my earliest blog posts, I go into detail on how we do this but the short story is…bag them in zip-lock bags and freeze them for up to the next summer.
When you freeze your peppers, leave the charred skins on. The skins will provide added protection to your peppers from freezer burn and when thawed, the skins peel off rather easily, leaving you with perfectly roasted peppers that are ready for a salad or side dish as part of your winter meal.
Today, I’m going to show you one of my favourite combos, that is to say roasted red peppers and boiled potatoes. Here, I’ve also added some roasted red garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, chopped fresh chives, parsley and briny capers.
Roasted Red Pepper and Potato Salad (Î Î±Ï„Î±Ï„Î¿ÏƒÎ±Î»Î¬Ï„Î± Î¼Îµ Ï€Î¹Ï€ÎµÏÎ¹ÎÏ‚ Î¦Î»Ï‰ÏÎ¯Î½Î·Ï‚)
(for 2 or as a side dish)
1 large Yukon Gold potato
1 large red bell pepper, skins peeled and cut into ribbons
3 cloves of roasted garlic
(or 1 raw clove)
1 Tbsp. capers
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. chopped chives
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar (optional)
fresh ground pepper
- Place a small pot of water on your stovetop and bring to a boil. Add some salt to the boiling water and carefully place the potato (with skin on) into the water and reduce heat to medium and boil until fork tender. Place under to cold water to cool the potato until you’re able to comfortably handle the potato (you still want it to be warm).
- Using the dull side of a knife, peel of the skin of the potato. Now carefully slice your potato into slices and set aside.
- Wrap each slice of potato with a ribbon of roasted pepper and plate in a circular, overlapping pattern.
- In a small bowl, add roasted garlic and mash it into a paste with a fork. Now add the olive oil and whisk the two ingredients until blended.
- Sprinkle some sea salt over your roasted red pepper and potato salad and pour the olive oil and garlic mixture over the salad.
- Grind some fresh black pepper over the salad, garnish with chopped fresh parsley, chives and capers and drizzle a little wine vinegar (optional) as a finishing touch.
- Serve with grilled or fried fish or some good, homemade sausages.
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