Our boys picked peppers at the Windmill Field on Shelter Island a couple of days ago. It was part of an activity called Follow the Fiddler. We walked around the farm fields following some musicians and singing work songs. It was a lot of fun. The boys picked enthusiastically in the pepper row and with four boys picking, we ended up with a pile of peppers.
One of my typical summer lunches is sausage and peppers, but I didn’t have any sausages, so I dug up this recipe so I could use the peppers so they didn’t go bad. These peppers are delicious, and the basil oil is so versatile. I served them as a side dish with dinner. I had extra basil oil, so I used it on my BLT sandwich the other day. I also poured some on fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Yum! It would be great on a grilled chicken breast as well.
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Roasted Red Peppers with Basil Oil
Recipe by Ina Garten
4 large red bell peppers, seeded and cut in 1/2 lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 1/2 cups
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups basil leaves, plus 8 basil leaves for garnish
1 clove garlic, chopped
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a baking sheet and place the peppers, cut side up (skin side down) on the oil. Turn the peppers over, season them with salt and pepper, and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Place the warm peppers in a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside to cool for at least 30 minutes.
For the basil oil, put the basil, 1 1/2 cups olive oil, and the garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse 6 to 8 times until the basil is finely chopped.
When the peppers are cool, remove and discard the skins. The skins should peel off easily. Slice the peppers and arrange them on a plate. Pour the basil oil over the peppers, and garnish with the basil leaves.
Yield: 4 servings