When I brought home a mixed bag of red and yellow peppers, some of them the size of jalapenos, my husband thought they must be the hot kind, but they were mini sweet peppers. I’d never tried them before, but it occurred to me they’d be handy for times I only needed a little bit of pepper flavor. Though I could always cut a full size pepper in half and save the rest for later, I hate finding the leftover half in the fridge going slimy around the cut edges. Even in this recipe, which calls for a whole pepper, using two small ones lets me make it two colored.
The fennel we have right now is very young and slender, which made it easy to chop the stalks into fine pieces. You could do it with mature fennel too. Either way, it gives the dish a basil-like taste that goes will with the touch of tomato.
This is good in a salad of any kind, or just on crackers.
Speaking of salad vegetables, the other day I got over optimistic about an avocado and cut into it only to find it wasn’t quite ripe yet. And it never would be, because of course once you cut into an avocado the ripening process stops and you’ve ruined everything, wah wah wah . . . But I didn’t want to throw it into the compost, so I put it in the fridge and thought about it. Then a few days later I thought of the cheese grater, invented after all to shred food that supposedly wasn’t soft enough to eat. After I got the unripe avocado cut into (unpeeled) quarters, the grater tore it into shreds that were fine to eat, if not as tasty as ripe avocado. They went nicely with the marinated peppers. I wonder why I’ve never heard of anyone else doing this.
- One large (or two small) sweet bell pepper, any color
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp fennel, stalks only, chopped fine
- 1 tbsp tomato juice
- Roast the peppers and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile, mix the chopped fennel and other ingredients in a small bowl.
- Peel the pepper when cooled.
- Cut into julienne strips.
- Marinate (refrigerated) in the fennel mixture several hours or overnight.