Red Pepper Conserve

This is a simple but delicious recipe that came about from my desire to replicate a conserve we purchased in our favourite Pecorino dairy just outside Montepulchiano. Whilst primarily sold to be served with their Cheese, we found it was a great accompaniment to most things savoury (including as a dip). I therefore promised myself I would make some when I returned to England.

 

You will need 2x 1 lb Jars for this recipe.

Ingredients:

4 sweet red peppers, chopped roughly (Pimento Style, or long sweet roasting variety)
2 small onions sliced roughly, large shallots will do
1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped roughly
1 Medium Aubergine (egg Plant) diced to medium size
4 large cloves of Garlic, chopped roughly
3 tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of granulated Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Tomato Paste or Purée
½ tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar (more if you like it)
Salt, Black Pepper, Sage and Thyme to taste.

Method:

Into an oven proof dish put the green pepper, one of the Red Peppers, one of the onions, the Aubergine, two of the Garlic cloves and about half of the olive oil. Mix the vegetables around in the oil, sprinkle with some Salt, Black Pepper and herbs on the top, then pop into a preheated oven at 170°C (338°F) for about 35 minutes or until they are well roasted and soft. Keep taking them out of the oven to give them a quick stir; you are trying to get a slight burnt/caramelised flavour on them.

Place the rest of the vegetables and oil into a large heavy based frying pan and cook off until almost soft; once achieved, add the sugar, Tomato paste, Balsamic vinegar, seasoning and herbs. Cook on for a few minutes, then amalgamate or introduce the roasted vegetables from the oven (including the oil).

Cook down until most of the liquid is reduced, remove from the heat and let it cool slightly. At this point, I would taste to make sure the mix of herbs, seasoning and Balsamic is acceptable to your palate.

Whilst still warm, put into a food blender and blend to the consistency of a paste.
Place into sterilised jars, close the lids tightly and put in the fridge; as I've said, this should do two jars, if there's any left over, put in a ramekin and enjoy with some cold meats, warm fishcakes, Bacon and Egg or on your cheese platter.
This should keep in the fridge for a few weeks, but you will have used it by then, guaranteed.

Red Pepper Conserve On Fishcakes With Cheese