Tolceni piperki (pepper paste)
- August 2017
- Serves 4-6
- Hands-on time 40 min
This smokey paste is made with peppers and is ready in less than 40 minutes. It’s wonderful served alongside grilled meat, fish, cheese, sausages and more.
- Dairy-free recipes
- Vegetarian recipes
- 11.8g (1.5g saturated)
- 6.8g (6.5g sugars)
- trace salt
- 8-10 romano peppers (the long thin red ones)
- 1 large aubergine, pierced with a knife a few times
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 50g shelled walnuts, plus extra, chopped, to garnish
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Crusty bread to dip
- Using tongs, hold each pepper, one by one, in the flame of a gas hob and cook, turning occasionally, until all the skin has blackened and blistered. Do the same for the aubergine. (Or put all the vegetables under a very hot grill or on a very hot barbecue, turning occasionally, until blackened and blistered all over.) Put the vegetables into freezer bags and seal. As the veg sweats, the skin will loosen. When cool enough to handle, peel off and discard all the skin, and discard the pepper stalks and seeds.
- Put the garlic in a large pestle and mortar with a pinch of sea salt, then grind to a paste. Add the walnuts and grind again until combined. Add the peppers one by one, then the aubergine, grinding to a paste each time. (If you don’t have a pestle and mortar large enough, grind the garlic and walnuts, then pulse with the vegetables in a food processor to make a rough paste.) Stir in the oil and leave for half an hour to let the flavours mix. Sprinkle with extra chopped walnuts and serve with crusty bread.
If you like spice, add some chopped chilli to the mixture when grinding (step 2).
Using red romano peppers gives the paste a rich colour but you can use a mix of colours. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over, if you like.
Make up to 48 hours ahead and keep in the fridge. Best served at room temperature.
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