Autumn is my favorite season, and the smell of autumn for me is the smell of roast peppers. Roast pepper relishes are very popular in this area, and I have a few different recipes in rotation. I usually make around a dozen jars and store them for the winter. I love that ritual - strolling the market with all its autumn colors, lovely red peppers in bunches. I remember, when I was a child, we made tomato juice and pepper relish in my grandmother's garden, on a big coal stove out in the open. Now I do it in my tiny kitchen, but I still enjoy it. Last night I made a bowl of relish as a warm up for the real deal - which is quite a lot of work and will probably take up most of my weekend.
This is one version of the relish - with tomatoes, but the one I will be leaving for winter will probably be my eggplant and pepper recipe, which is slightly more elaborate.
Pepper relish is rather sweet (because of the natural sweetness of red peppers), so it goes really well with feta. Today I used it in feta and sausage sandwiches, and we scoffed the whole bowl in no time!
2 kg red peppers
4 medium sized tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp chopped parsley (fresh or dried)
1 tbsp chopped chives (fresh or dried)
1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar (optional)
2 tbsp oil
Wash the peppers and tomatoes and roast them whole in a preheated oven for around 40 minutes. Leave them to cool enough to be peeled (if you leave them in a bowl covered with cling-film or tin foil, they'll be easier to peel). Remove the stalks and seeds and peel the vegetables. Chop them up roughly, add finely chopped garlic, parsley and chives. Season to taste, add oil and lemon juice/vinegar (if using).
If you want some heat, you can add some chilli powder, or chopped chilli peppers. If you're using chillis, you can use them raw, or, even better, roast them with the peppers and tomatoes.