Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pre-eminent Red Bell Pepper Saute

It's the best red bell pepper dish I've ever tasted. Readers, please look beyond any appearances that Unique Culinary Adventures could be stranded in a narrow realm. It's true that the past three consecutive posts have somewhere referenced green tomatoes. Now, though moving on to a different vegetable, we return to the same out-of-print cookbook that was the source for the "Baked Green Tomatoes" recipe posted here on October 2. In doing so, Unique Culinary Adventures lifts another dish from New Almond Cookery" by Michelle Schmidt, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1984. May the rationale be that here's just one more good reason to rush to Amazon.com or wherever else a used copy of this book is still available and grab it.

Otherwise, the reason is the season. Red bell peppers are everywhere right now and selling cheaper than at any other time of year. After frost nips the local crop, good ones will continue to be available from at greengrocers and supermarkets right through the winter. That's one reason why this dish has been served in our house either at Thanksgiving or Christmas for the last twenty years.


1/2 cup chopped almonds (skinned)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 large or 3 medium red bell peppers, cut in 1 inch cubes
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 whole anchovy, or three canned anchovy fillets, chopped finely
3 teapoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

Saute almonds in 1 tablespoon oil until crisp; reserve. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan and saute bell pepper until just tender. Stir in sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until melted. Stir in lemon juice, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, anchovy, cilantro, and almonds.
Serves 4
Adapted from New Almond Cookery, by Michelle Schmidt, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1984