Almost everyone in Greece will have a garden of some degree. Even the apartment dwellers (there are many) will dedicate part of their balcony to some herbs, a tomato plant or some chilli peppers. My grandfather used to collect discarded Feta tins, fill them with soil and place the plants on the rooftop of the apartment. Others have more space and they will cultivate a plot of their land and plant tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet and hot peppers, zucchini, eggplant and an array of herbs. Those are the usual vegetables in the summer months…winter time is a whole other gamut of vegetables, leafy greens and that requires a post dedicated unto that.
My family’s home in Halkidiki also has a garden and as we speak, my parents are there and I can picture them now picking the ripe vegetables and using them for salads, vegetarian Greek dishes (ladera) and even giving some of the bounty to family and friends! The subject vegetable today is the pepper. My parents are originally from Florina and the people of this western Macedonian region just love their peppers…especially hot ones! We use peppers in stews, salads, grilled, baked and one of my favourites…fried.
Frying peppers is a quite easy…if you adhere to some simple tips:
- Poke the peppers with a fork. This is done so that hot oil doesn’t pop and hit your skin. DO IT.
- Shallow fry the peppers in oil, which means about 1/2 inch.
Fried Peppers (Πιπεριές Τηγανιτές)
approx. 1lb. of long, slender peppers (red, green or hot)
olive oil for frying
wine vinegar to taste
- Rinse your peppers and pat-dry. Poke the peppers with a fork a few times all over and pour enough oil into a large skillet to come up about 1/2 inch. Bring the oil up to a medium-high heat and fry your peppers in batches until the skins are just golden-brown.
- Transfer the peppers to a paper-lined platter and season with sea salt. Serve on plate with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and squirt of good wine vinegar. Serve warm or room temperature as part of a meze offering.
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