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Posts Tagged ‘red peppers’

by Caitlin Saniga

I might have said goodbye to tomatoes in this recent post, but I snagged a few last fruits from my scraggly plants. I was inspired by the textures of kale and fresh green cabbage at the farmers market, so I tore up a few leaves, tossed in some sliced tomatoes and fresh green beans, and whipped up the tastiest roasted red pepper dressing. This salad was a pleasant summer's end surprise.

I might have said goodbye to tomatoes in this recent post, but I snagged a few last fruits from my scraggly plants. I was inspired by the textures of kale and fresh green cabbage at the farmers market, so I tore up a few leaves, tossed in some sliced tomatoes and fresh green beans, and whipped up the tastiest roasted red pepper dressing. This salad was a pleasant summer’s end surprise.

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by Sarah Steimer

Spanish-style duck meatballs with red pepper sauce

My friend Drew made these meatballs at a restaurant he used to work at in Chicago, and they were always awesome. When I got my hands on some ground duck — and I knew this meatball guide was on the horizon — I shot Drew a text and he was kind enough to not only send me the recipe, but convert it down from massive restaurant portions.

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by Caitlin Saniga

harira

Aunt Karen has been raving about harira, a Moroccan lamb stew or soup, every time I’ve visited her for the past three years. She shared the recipe long ago, but I just recently had the leg of lamb and the motivation to try it out. It ended up being fairly simple to make. I served mine over long-grain rice, which made for a hearty meal with lots of flavor. Aunt Karen uses a few different ingredients in her harira: bulgur wheat rather than chickpeas, slightly less liquid and mint alone rather than the herb mixture.


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by Caitlin Saniga

Muhammara, a traditionally spicy red pepper dip, originated in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. This is my take on muhammara, and I imagine it’s a bit more mild than the classic, which often includes jalapenos. I served mine on roasted garlic Triscuits, but crusty bread, pita or toast works, too.

  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and chopped (See the video below for more specific instructions.)
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red chili flakes, for garnish

Place the red pepper, walnuts, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, cumin and cayenne in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are well combined. Adjust the olive oil, if needed, for a smoother consistency. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with red pepper flakes.

Serve immediately, or store chilled in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Makes 2 servings.

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by Caitlin Saniga

This was a new flavor combination for me: savory, tangy and nutty. Black rice, which actually looks more purple once it’s cooked, is my new favorite super-food, rich in fiber and iron.

Salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked black rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 large red onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup cashew halves
  • 3 green onions, sliced

Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of freshly ground pepper

Using a strainer, thoroughly rinse the rice.

In a medium pot, bring the rice and chicken broth to a boil. Simmer over low heat, covered, for 40-45 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

In the meantime, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the peppers and red onion and stir occasionally for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables soften. Add the cashews and green onions, and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

To prepare the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, sesame oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

When the rice is done, pour off the extra liquid and stir in the vegetable mixture. Pour the dressing over top and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Parade magazine

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by Caitlin Saniga

My aunt and uncle first introduced me and my family to this dish when I was about 12. My tastes were very much still developing, and this dish offered three brand new ingredients to me — feta cheese, pine nuts and pesto. There was plenty of potential for me and my younger siblings to find something to dislike about the dish. But we loved it! And I became an expert at cooking the meal, often preparing double batches (Cold leftovers are fantastic!) and cooking it for birthday dinners. To this day, my brother still requests that I make this any time we're together. To us, it's the ultimate comfort food.

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  • 1 green bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped into 1-inch lengths
  • 16 ounces penne pasta
  • 3/4 cup prepared pesto (When basil is back in season, I plan to prepare a big batch and freeze it for multiple uses. Stay tuned.)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts

Cut the raw chicken into bite-size pieces. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup Italian dressing and the chicken, and cook until the juices cook down and the chicken is slightly browned. Transfer the chicken to a large serving bowl, and cover.

Add the bell peppers and onion to the pan and toss the vegetables in the remaining 1/2 cup Italian dressing. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables have softened but retain some crunch, about 6 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the serving bowl with the chicken, and cover.

In the meantime, cook the pasta according to package directions. Add the pasta to the serving bowl, and pour the pesto and mozzarella cheese over. Toss to combine. Serve immediately and top each serving with a sprinkling of feta and pine nuts.

Makes 6 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Aunt Julie and Uncle Rob’s recipe

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