Monday, May 3, 2010

Peperonata and Panini

Why peperonata?

I was perusing menus online, trying to decide where we can go for a nice meal out for our anniversary. Maybe I’m just not sophisticated, but I see a lot of unfamiliar words on menus these days I like to figure out what they mean. Maybe you’re smarter than I am, but which of these would you eat: peperonata, chorizo, calabaza, asadero, haloumi, porcini, pappardelle, cotija, chayote, sultanas. You know it’s confusing to review a menu when you’re trying to be careful, but not trying to be un-adventurous.

So the first recipe that comes up when I searched for peperonata is from Epicurious. I was drawn to this because I’d heard a story on The Splendid Table about how people search for recipes and get bad ones, or incomplete ones, or unclear ones, when they search the web, and meanwhile the trustworthy ones were further down the page. Well, I decided to trust Epicurious and not just read about what peperonata is, but rather to make it for myself.

Peperonata is slow cooked bell peppers with onion. It can include garlic, tomatoes, or spices – or not – and is finished with vinegar, either red wine or balsamic.

I got a three pack of bell peppers: orange, red, and yellow, and a sweet onion. I don’t like cooked green peppers. I sliced those not-too-thinly and cooked them in a little oil with a little salt for about an hour in a skillet over very low heat. I had mine in a sandwich. Alex had some in a quesadilla.

I also grilled an eggplant on my grill pan, sliced long ways, and then packed peppers, eggplant, and mozzarella into a sandwich with some extra balsamic and some basil pesto. I pressed the sandwich with a cast iron skillet and it came out with the ridges from the grill pan and was super duper yummy. I have considered getting a panini maker, but I just don’t have room in the kitchen. I don’t think I need one, anyway, when I can do this!

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