P1080654Our kid has always eaten red peppers as if they were potato chips. Never refuse a kid who wants vegetables. (I guess potato chips are technically vegetables, but you know what I mean.)

While plain, raw peppers are crunchy and juicy and tasty, cooked peppers make for a colorful side dish. And this recipe, from Patricia Wells’ cookbook “Vegetable Harvest,” is a winner for entertaining because it can be made ahead and served hot or at room temperature. As Wells points out, leftovers are good as a sauce on pasta or polenta. They also freeze well, so don’t hesitate to make a lot.P1080653Red Peppers, Tomatoes, Onions, Cumin and Espelette Pepper, from “Vegetable Harvest” by Patricia Wells

2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds

4 red bell peppers (or a mix with yellow and orange–as long as they are the sweet kind)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

2 medium onions, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced (I used an enormous red onion, which is pretty)

1 teaspoon ground piment d’Espelette (substitutes: dried Anaheim chilies, ground mild chili pepper or paprika)

2 pounds tomatoes, cored and cubed but not peeled P1080648Toast the cumin in a small, dry skillet, shaking regularly because they can scorch quickly. About two minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.P1080649Cut the cleaned peppers quarters and then into 1/8-inch-thick slices. P1080652Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the onions, cumin, piment d’Espelette and salt.  Cover and let it sweat over low heat for three to four minutes.

Add the peppers and tomatoes and cook, covered, over low heat until the peppers are soft and tender, about 30 minutes. I’ve made this recipe a lot, and I’ve reduced the tomatoes a little and cooked the peppers with the onions so they soften before adding the tomatoes toward the end. It makes the result a little less juicy/soupy.

By the way, I love, love, love this cookbook. I’ve made many of its recipes, and they are delicious but not difficult. And they all have a French flair.


37 thoughts on “Peppers in Paradise

  1. I make a plate SIMILAR to this with garlic clove and a DADO……..which is a bouillon cube and bread crumbs.IT’s MY GO TO RECIPE for company!!!!!!
    So, happy I got your notification in my INBOX!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for sending an email.com. I will try again to see what the issue is. Maybe try a different browser, sometimes that works.

    Is this what they call piperade? I bought piment d’Espelette from Amazon if anyone has trouble finding it.



    1. It’s similar, but piperade doesn’t usually have the toasted cumin. Also, it often uses green peppers, which are more bitter, so the taste would be different. Patricia Wells is quite an expert on French cuisine, and I’m surprised she didn’t make a reference to piperade in the recipe. But to me, the cumin is what really makes it special.


      1. Thanks for that info. I love Patricia Wells.

        I changed my browser and signed up to follow so I think I may have resolved the issue. Hopefully it will work.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I collect cookery books so this is instantly on my list to check out. Isn’t it wonderful having kids that eat fruit and veg in favour of cookies and chips? Mine were all the same and I got tired of explaining it was not a policy, simply natural when they were tots and faced with a plate of fairy cakes or iced gems and asked earnestly if there might be any fruit, please. Anyway – I am a huge fan of peppers and this looks a treasure of a recipe so its bound to find its way onto the table pretty soon. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wondered if Patricia Wells, (an American living in France, so well known there the Government has honoured her), writes her recipes using American measurements…eg. CUPS or European measurements?

    Those in Europe can find inexpensive second-hand copies of her books at http://www.awesomebooks.com free postage within the UK and very little is charged to post to Europe.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My kids always loved raw peppers but less the texture of cooked — it’s just the opposite for me. Now I know what to do with the whole cumin seeds and the piment d’espelette sitting in my spice rack. Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Francetaste, Our middle child also loves peppers, I just slice them, put them on a plate and they are gone. I, on the other hand, loathe peppers, both the texture and the flavor. If a recipe has the slightest bit of peppers, I can detect if and don’t eat it. Maybe I need to grow up!

    Liked by 1 person

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