Tag: side dish

Gratin de Poivrons

5peppergratin1Though roasting peppers can be somewhat of a tedious and messy endeavor, the taste is something magical. Roasting intensifies their flavor and brings out their natural sweetness. In the following recipe, a great side dish to cod loin or grilled chicken, I combine roasted sweet peppers with the briny taste of black olives. A layer of breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese provide texture and make for a beautiful presentation. Note that it is essential to use coarse homemade breadcrumbs. Anything else will ruin the dish.

Gratin de Poivrons
Serves: 2

  • 6 sweet peppers, (red, yellow and orange)
  • 100g stoned kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • small bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 25g breadcrumbs (made from stale bread)
  • 2 tbsps grated Parmesan cheese
  • good olive oil
  • freshly-cracked pepper

Place your peppers on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and grill them under a 250°C grill for 20 minutes, flipping them over after 10 minutes. The skins should be charred in some places and the peppers soft. Place the hot peppers either in a large Ziploc bag or in a plastic bowl with tightly fitting lid. Allow the peppers to rest for about 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Carefully peel of the skins, remove all the seeds and cut the peppers into strips. Mix the pepper strips with the chopped kalamata olives and parsley. Transfer the mixture to a small, round oven dish of approximately 18cm. Scatter the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese over the dish and finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a grinding of fresh pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is crisp and golden.

Mediterranean-Style Green Beans

green beansI have been very busy recipe testing these last few weeks for a new project (more on that later!). Some recipes work brilliantly on the first try, while others fail miserably (at least in my opinion — I can be rather hard on myself). On Friday, I tried a recipe for porc en croûte, and I was everything but thrilled with the final result. So on Sunday it was back to the drawing table, and luckily, this one was a success. I will make it again at least a few times before it is ever published though. In my opinion, there is nothing more frustrating than kitchen failures which result from poorly written recipes that are not thoroughly tested. It is one of my culinary pet peeves and something I do not want to do to anyone who cooks one of my recipes!
Sometimes, while I am working on one particular recipe, inspiration hits me to make something else. Like a side dish or a dessert, for example. It’s a good thing that I always have pen and paper on hand so that I can scribble away as I cook. As my successful porc en croûte happily baked away yesterday, I came up with the following recipe. I am not particularly fond of green beans and find them rather insipid. Not at all the case if you make them in the following manner. I would also not hesitate to pair this dish with a roast chicken.

PS: I am currently looking for recipe testers to help me out with my new project. Should this be of interest, please get in touch.

Here’s the recipe…

Mediterranean-Style Green Beans
Serves 3-4

  • 400g green beans
  • 1 tbsp good quality butter
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsps toasted pine nuts
  • 10 semi-sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • fleur de sel
  • freshly-grated pepper

Boil the green beans in salted water for approximately 4-6 minutes. You want the beans to remain crisp. In the meantime, melt the butter in a large frying pan and gently sauté the onions. Drain the beans and allow them to steam briefly. Add in the garlic, pine nuts and sundried tomatoes and cook while stirring for another minute or so. You want these flavors to remain present and vibrant in the dish. Add in your green beans and toss them through the mixture, seasoning them to taste with salt and pepper.