Friday, September 08, 2006

Conserving: Pepperonata and Spicy Zucchini



Your guesses are absolutely imaginative, creative and wild.

What did I have in these jars?

Lovely Peperonata made with fresh bell peppers, garlic and oregano. The second one was filled with a spicy and tangy zucchini. Both conserved to enjoy at any time you feel like snacking.

You know, there are those times when you come home either from a party, from work, from a short trip or just if you're working at home (like me) and suddenly you get a snack attack. You open you your fridge and ... well there is really nothing in there that appeals to you. You have to turn on the hot plates of your oven to cook something up and the rest, it's just boring.

A fatal situation! Especially when you are hungry. Well I have a little help for those of you that suffer much of the same dilemma I used to. Conserve, conserve, conserve!
This way you have the most aromatic and flavorful ingredients, ready to spoon out at anytime of the day, in a jar!

The two recipes I am sharing with you today are my favorite types. Zucchini and peppers are now available in abundance. You need to invest just 30 to 45 minutes in preparing these and you can keep enjoying them for a few weeks.

And the next time you are attacked by the Snack Monster, just whip out a slice of baguette and zap the monster with your Peperonata and Spicy Zucchini!

By the way, I've extended the deadline to the MonthlyMingle as one or two needed a little more time. So, being as nice as I am decided to extend the deadline to September 13. The theme to the next MM will also be announced then.



Music while cooking:

Beyoncé Knowles - Deja Vu
Album: B-Day - New on my iPod






Peperonata

Bell Peppers

Photo on Explore: September 9, 2006. View my entire Explore Photostream.

Color up your day with some bright peppers. They are rich sources of vitamin C and vitamin A. Two extremely powerful antioxidants. Together they effectively neutralize free radicals, which can travel through the body and cause large amounts of damage to cells. Free radicals are also responsible for the build up of cholesterol in the arteries. With a good portion of bell peppers you are providing two potent free radical destroyers.

Selecting and Storing
Go for peppers that have a bright vivid color. Their skin shout be taut and free from soft spots and darkened areas. The stems should look fresh and green and they should feel heavy for their size. Peppers are available throughout the year, but in the summer months are in greater abundance.

Store your fresh sweet peppers unwashed in the vegetable compartment of the fridge. They should last for up to a week. You can freeze these without blanching them in little containers.



Ingredients:

For 4 jars (each 750 ml) with twist-off lids

2 1/2 kg peppers - as colorful as you like - cut into bite size pieces
150 g onions - finely chopped
4 garlic cloves - chopped
2 tablespoons oil
small handful of fresh oregano leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons Aceto Balsamico bianco vinegar
800 ml vegetable stock
4 teaspoons gelatin powder
1 teaspoon paprika powder
salt and pepper



Method:

In a large pan heat up the oil. Add the pepper, onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes to allow the aromas to blend. Add the oregano and tomato paste and saute for a further few minutes. Pour in the balsamico. Stir together the stock and the gelatin powder. Add to the the peppers and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 minutes.

Add the paprika powder, salt and pepper to taste. Fill the 4 jars to the rim and close tightly.
Unopened this can last for 3 months.




Spicy Zucchini
These little spicy sweet and sour zucchinis taste great as Antipasti with fresh ciabatta.

Ingredients:

For 4 jars (each 500 ml) with twist off lids

1 kg zucchini - cut in half lengthwise then the halves cut in quarters.
4 garlic cloves - cut in thin slices
3 red chilies - cut in rings
4 rosemary stems - unfortunately I forgot to buy these so I substituted with dried Rosemary
1 l fruit vinegar
220 g brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt

Method:

Divide the zucchini, garlic, chilies and the rosemary stems into four portions and layer these in each of the jars.

In a pot bring the vinegar, 350 ml water, sugar and salt to a boil. Allow this to simmer for 5 minutes. Immediately fill the jars with this mixture saving any liquid that is leftover. Tightly seal the lids on the jars. Allow to rest for 24 hours. After this period strain the liquid from the jars and the leftover liquid into a pot and quickly bring to a boil. Once again fill the jars to the rim and seal shut.

These will last you for approximately 6 months.

I'll be sending a jar or two of these over to Kalyn for her Weekeng Herb Blogging



Verdict:

These are two things that you can enjoy for a very long time.
We normally have an early dinner at our place and on the weekends when Soeren is fast asleep Tom and I either play board games together or just watch a movie on DVD. Normally around 10 PM our cravings start kicking in. It is then that I go into the kitchen and come back with different bowls filled with goodies, some fresh bread and a bit of cheese. We then just sit back with a glass of red wine and snack. The peperonata also tastes great heated with pasta. I love eating the zucchini with baguette spread with some brie or camembert cheese. The harmony of tastes is incredible.

This is just the perfect kind of thing to make now and enjoy a little later in the fall/winter months. This way you have saved up a bit of summer in a jar!

Enjoy.


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18 comments :

  1. Mango chutney and a pineapple something ??

    ReplyDelete
  2. Red Bell Pepper Pickle and Cucumber pickle ????

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wild guess...
    Chutney and Pickled Zucchini...
    I know, I know, could I be more vague?

    Looks good...

    Tootles,
    Anni :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Is the first one rhubarb?
    The second looks like a miniature bamboo --it's a wild guess :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Left looks like some carrots in it and chutney.
    Right first made me think rhubarb and then celery.
    Your pictures don't scream the answer - very mysterious.

    ReplyDelete
  6. pickles!! sorry don't know what kind though...

    ReplyDelete
  7. the one on the left looks like there is tomatoes and peppers in it.
    the one on the right could be feta (yes I think greek cheese) or maybe another type of cheese, in olive oil with some small rings of chillies. but i change my mind, it has zucchini slices in it in vinegar, with chilies, and dille. so it could be cucumber as well.

    and than the one on the left with the tomatoes has white things in it, maybe feta?

    Whatever it is, I want the recipe :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Is it Toamato Chutney in the left one and in the right one.....I can see cumin clearly but have no idea whats the rest

    ReplyDelete
  9. Right - cucumbers turning into pickles. Left - um, I don't know. Maybe a chutney or preserves.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Meeta,
    I think, it must be watermelon on the left side and salted gurken with red pepperoni.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Some guess, eh? 50% correct rocks! I've worked with enough zucchini to recognize them in a brine.
    I'm so excited to include the Pepperonata on the list to put up this season. Our pepper plants are going to peak in the next few weeks and this will be a fabulous recipe to include.

    Fabulous!

    Tootles,
    Anni :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi folks you are all brilliant at guessing!

    I had to keep clicking on my own pictures to see where you were seeing mangoes, pineapples or rhubarb!!

    Pea Sorry that was not even close. But the ideas were fab.
    MT Not bad!
    Anni Pretty good guess
    Nandita Those were the wildest guesses ever!!
    Tanna Did they scream rhubarb and celery? Hahaha. I loved this guess.
    Kat Almost
    Isis You got better and better. Except for the feta.
    Anu Nice try!
    ANON Nope.
    Jennifer Well you could say it was similar to cucumbers.
    CPG Where do YOU see watermelon on that picture? I was baffled by this one.
    Anni 50% is better than most!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yummy. I even have some peppers in my fridge right now.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This will be excellent for hors d'oeuvres night! Thanks for the recipe, Meeta.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great idea Meeta!

    Remember tomorrow is the deadline for Favourite Kitchen Gadgets if you still fancy taking part.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I could never have guessed those two correctly Meeta. Have tagged you for a Meme on by blog. Come over and take a look.

    ReplyDelete
  17. looks like you are going to have some wonderful summer veggies in winter. i love the music while cooking part..

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta