Today we’re talking about capers from Pantelleria, tiny but very rich in flavour. But there’s more, we’ll also discover caper berries, caper leaves and the caper production farm that brings Pantelleria’s tradition to the world. Ready to go?
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Sweet-and-sour bell peppers packed in oil: 3 (+1) recipes to try out
Sweet-and-sour bell peppers packed in oil are a delicious pantry staple to always have on hand. They are extremely handy, since they have a long shelf life and their unique taste can turn even the plainest dish into a delicacy.
There usually is a wide quality gap between handmade pickled vegetables and pickled vegetables from the supermarket. In the case of bell peppers, the difference is even more remarkable, since prime-quality bell peppers stand out for their incredible crunchiness.
Sweet-and-sour bell peppers packed in oil must be compact and firm, exactly like the bell peppers by Cascina Pizzavacca, a farm that knows one thing or two about preserving vegetables.
The first difference lies, of course, in the bell peppers themselves, and how they are cultivated and processed. However, oil and vinegar also affect the flavour and consistency of the end product. The key to success is selecting these ingredients in the right quantity and quality.
Sweet-and-sour bell peppers taste delicious on their own, but they can also be used to create truly delectable dishes. Here are some of my favourite ones.
Sweet-and sour, oil-packed bell pepper roll ups
Sweet-and-sour bell peppers have the ideal consistency, size and thickness to be wrapped around a soft filling. They pair extremely well with fresh cheeses, especially Robiola cheese.
The preparation is very simple: mix the Robiola cheese with salt, chives and mint and put some filling in the middle of the bell pepper strip; then roll and secure with a toothpick or, if you’re feeling craftsy, tie a couple of chives in a knot around each roll up. Keep in the fridge until you serve it as a starter or as finger food.
Salad with sweet-and-sour bell peppers packed in oil and…
Think of all the sad and tasteless salads that you can jazz up with the flavour of sweet-and-sour bell peppers packed in oil. Sweet-and-sour bell peppers truly make the difference, whether you add them to boiled potatoes and tomatoes, Caprese salad, Greek salad or Niçoise salad.
This is my favourite flavour combination: sweet-and-sour bell peppers packed in oil, boiled potatoes, red onion of Tropea, cucumber, capers and oregano – a truly exceptional, revisited Pantesca salad with a modern twist. You can also add some anchovy fillets, but be careful not to oversalt.
Sweet-and-sour bell peppers packed in oil also pair really well with fish. They go best with steamed cod or with tuna, too. A finger-licking suggestion would be: sweet-and-sour bell peppers, cod/tuna, olives, fresh baby spinach and roasted sunflower, pumpkin, flax or poppy seeds - they are all a good match.
Sweet-and-sour, oil-packed bell pepper sauce
This sauce, which is ideal as a last-minute starter, can be used to dress bruschetta, roasted bread or canapés. All you need to do is mix the bell peppers with salt, pepper and basil, and that’s it.
For an additional twist, you can add some nuts or almonds, too, but do not mince the sauce too much, so that you can still feel the crunchiness of the dried fruit. A recipe idea: roasted, whole grain bread with some goat cheese spread on top, sweet-and-sour bell pepper sauce and nuts.
If you’re into more intense flavours, mix some aged Ricotta cheese with bell peppers. You will obtain a thick and flavourful sauce that you can spread on baguette slices or use as a dip for fresh, raw veggies.
In short, sweet-and-sour bell peppers packed in oil are a true delicacy and a pantry staple to always have on hand. They have a unique taste and sourness given by the vinegar, which cleanses the palate and prepares it for the next bite.
Here you have three quick recipes, but the possibilities are almost endless. Now it’s up to you to show me what you can do!
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