The day I ate a perfect red capsicum0

Posted on February 12, 2008 by ChristieDinner Time, Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Berwick St Market Red Capsicums
[Red capsicums at Berwick St Market, Soho, London]

Berwick Street market in central London is a great place to grab some cheap fruit and veg, flowers or mixed nuts. You’ll find it hidden deep in the back streets of Soho, crammed between trendy record stores and sex shops, teeming with an ecclectic crowd of young media types, tourists, suits and dodgy characters (address below). The friendly men at the stalls show off their mighty strong lungs as they shout ‘A pound a bowl’ over the wind, rain and noisy crowds, day in and day out.

I picked up a lovely bowl of glossy red capsicums (peppers) and got 6 for my 1 pound – that’s a bargain by London standards! As soon as I got them home I sliced one up and ate it raw. It was delicious; crunchy, sweet and juicy all at once. My mind started racing with ideas on how to use these yummy delights and I honestly couldn’t decide on only one to share with you.

So I’m not going to. Here are lots of quick ideas to use this wonderful vegetable.

Happy cooking, Christie

Berwick Street Market
Berwick Street, W1
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Open Mon-Sat 8.00am-5.30pm

Quick Ideas for Red Capsicums

Roasted Place whole capsicums on a greased tray and bake in a hot oven until blackened. Transfer to a plastic bag, seal and leave for at least 15 mins. Once cool, the skin should peel away easily and they are ready to use.

Toast Top toasted slices of sourdough or turkish bread with salami, roasted capsicum strips, rocket and a dollop of bought or home made pesto or olive tapenade.

Salad Mix fresh diced capsicum with chunks of danish feta cheese, smoked chicken breast, black olives and baby spinach leaves. Toss with a red wine vinegar, grain mustard and olive oil dressing.

Soup Saute onions and garlic until soft, but not browned. Add cubes of sweet potato, finely chopped rosemary and thyme, chicken or vegetable stock and roasted capsicum strips. Season and boil until sweet potato is tender and then puree until smooth with a hand held blender. Top with sour cream or creme fraiche for extra indulgence. This is also excellent served as a chilled soup, just substitute the herbs for flat leaf parsley, which has a fresher taste.

Pasta Grease a deep baking tray with olive oil and place a thin layer of small cooked pasta, like penne, in the bottom. Top with thinly sliced red onion, roasted capsicum strips, basil leaves, sundried tomato pesto (or passata) and slices of haloumi cheese. Season and drizzle with olive oil. Add another layer of pasta and repeat ingredients finishing with the cheese. Bake in a hot oven for 30 mins until cheese is melted and bubbling.

Dip I love to buy a tub of hummous from a Lebanese or Turkish take away shop (not the supermarket ones) and mix through pureed roasted capsicums, then serve it with fresh sliced red capsicums for dipping.

Stuffed Hungarian Style Stuff whole capsicums with a mixture of rice, minced beef, paprika, onion, garlic and egg. Then boil in a large pot of tomato soup. I promise to provide the entire recipe for this as it is truly delicious – I just need to get the recipe from my mum!

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