Sweet cups of capsicum

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
The local greengrocer’s, where I do much of my shopping, display their fruit and vegetables with an extraordinary generosity. Precarious piles of peppers, a small mountain of aubergines, tray upon tray of tomatoes — crisp and green, golden-shouldered, tiny orange varieties — sit next to rows of asparagus and short, sweet cucumbers. Mint, dill and parsley are sold in fat bunches and they are good, too, for curry leaves, lemongrass and my beloved coriander.

I arrive home with peppers, fat and glossy, each one large enough to carry a cargo of minced pork with rosemary and garlic or mushrooms and tarragon, neither of which I have. There is a block of tofu, the fragile, silken variety, to soak up the fruity notes of the olive oil, the salty olives and the tomatoes. The juice that sat in the hollows of the roasted peppers was so good we sponged it up with pieces torn from a white loaf, its soft crust freckled with sesame. This recipe started out with feta in place of the tofu, but I wanted something softer and less salty, and anyway, we eat more than enough cheese in this house.

I would use silken tofu for stuffing the peppers. Its light panna cotta texture is good with the sweet flesh of the roasted peppers. If tofu isn’t your thing, I suggest using feta cheese, crumbled into large pieces. You can add coriander here if you wish — it is particularly at home with the tofu, olives and tomatoes. Use it in place of, or in addition to the chives. You’ll need bread for the juices.

Baked peppers, tofu and tomatoes

Serves 3

3 red peppers

500g silken tofu

250g cherry tomatoes

100ml olive oil

10 green olives

10 chives

2 Tbsp parsley, chopped

Set the oven at 200degC. Halve and seed the peppers. Put them, cut side up in a baking dish or roasting tin. Divide the tofu evenly between the peppers. Cut each of the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the peppers, tucking them in with the tofu. Pour some of the olive oil into each of the peppers. Season with black pepper and a little salt.

Bake the peppers for an hour or until they are truly tender.

Stone and roughly chop the olives and put them in a small mixing bowl. Finely chop the chives and mix them with the olives. Remove the parsley leaves from their stalks, roughly chop and toss with the olives and chives.

Scatter over the peppers as they come from the oven and serve.

 — Guardian News and Media


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