Poivron, masculine noun (le poivron, un poivron, des poivrons) = bell pepper (pronounced pouah-vron with minimum attention to the final n, no s heard in the plural, equal stress on the two syllables).
Not to be confused with un poivrot = a drunkard (pronounced pouah-vroh)
Bell peppers grow easily in the climate of the lower two thirds of France, and even further north in good summers. They are much used in ratatouille (the now famous French summer dish) and in poulet basquaise, for instance. They give colour to fish and chicken dishes, and crunch to salads when used raw.
My recipe for today is salade de poivron rôti, a roasted bell pepper salad with garlic and olive oil.
For each person you will need:
- A medium sized red bell pepper (green just will not do)
- A small clove of garlic
- A small fresh red chili
- 3 tbs olive oil
- A little salt and pepper
- A few sprigs of fresh parsley
1. Heat the oven to 180°C.
2. Wash the pepper and place whole in a dish in the oven. When the skin of the pepper starts to burn and blister, after 20 minutes or so, take it out and wrap it in newspaper or a cloth tea-towel (the steam makes the skin come off more easily).
3. When it has cooled, remove the skin, stem, core and all the seeds. You do not need to dry the pepper. Cut into strips about 1/2cm wide (1/4″) and place in a shallow dish.
4. Chop (don’t squeeze or grate) the garlic finely. Sprinkle over the pepper.
5. Chop the parsley finely and sprinkle over the pepper.
6. Cut fine slices of chili and place on top of the salad.
7. Grind black pepper and sprinkle a little salt. Pour 3 tbs olive oil.
8. Toss and leave to marinate for at least an hour.
This salad can be served at room temperature (personally I prefer it that way, the flavours are better), or chilled. If any is left over, it will keep, covered, in the fridge for a day or so.
The ingredients of this salad are rich in vitamin C and D, and the garlic is good for your blood pressure, among other things. Here is an article in French which enumerates the medicinal properties of garlic (today’s reading exercise!). Roasted pepper salad looks lovely and summery. You can eat it as a light meal with some crusty bread, maybe followed by a bit of cheese, or as a salad to accompany grilled meat or barbecued sausages. It doesn’t matter if it is swimming in olive oil, any that is left is full of the flavour of garlic and pepper: dip bread into it, it’s delicious, or drizzle some over hot pasta.