Jean Anderson's Sweet Red Pepper Paste (Massa de Pimentão)

By • September 15, 2011 • 24 Comments



Author Notes: Jean Anderson applies the magic of slow-roasting to a traditional Portuguese preserved red pepper sauce, in this genius recipe from her cookbook The Food of Portugal. Use it to marinate chicken or pork, sauce grilled fish and vegetables, and top pizzas and sandwiches. Genius Recipes

Serves about 1 1/4 cups

  • 8 medium sweet red peppers, washed, cored, seeded and cut lengthwise into strips about 1" wide
  • 2 tablespoons coarse or kosher salt
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (about)
  1. Arrange a layer of pepper strips in the bottom of a shallow bowl no more than 9 inches in diameter; sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt; now add 7 more layers of pepper strips, sprinkling each with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Let stand uncovered at room temperature for at least 12 hours. Drain off excess liquid.
  2. Turn on the oven to its keep warm-setting (250º to 275º F.). Place the bowl of peppers, still uncovered, in the oven and roast 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until all juices have been absorbed, the peppers are soft, and the skin pulls away easily from the flesh. If you start to notice them drying out, cover them with foil for the remainder of the time. Remove and cool to room temperature. Now peel the skin from each pepper strip and discard. Place the garlic and the pepper strips in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, or in an electric blender cup, and add about half of the oil; buzz nonstop about 30 seconds, scrape down the sides, and buzz 30 seconds more. With the motor running, drizzle in enough of the remaining oil to make a paste slightly softer than whipped butter. Churn 60 seconds until absolutely smooth.
  3. Note: If you have neither food processor nor blender, you'll have to grind the garlic and peppers to paste as the Portuguese women do--with a mortar and pestle. You must then add the olive oil very slowly, drop by drop at first, beating hard to incorporate.
  4. Transfer to a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.
Jump to Comments (24)

Comments (24) Questions (3)

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10 months ago Leonor Yarhi

Egg coddler. Sorry!

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10 months ago Leonor Yarhi

I had some problem to buying the egg cobbler. ???

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10 months ago Leonor Yarhi

I need this kind of jar? Do you have it?

Miglore

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Not currently -- but we may stock them again down the line! Here's a similar style on lovely Herriott Grace: http://shop.herriottgrace...

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almost 3 years ago Agnes

In my experience, putting olive oil in the blender or food processor makes it bitter. Have people not found this to be a problem?

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almost 3 years ago linzarella

Wow, this is truly a life-changing technique. Just had it on a butternut squash and broccolini salad with hard boiled eggs. Amazing.

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almost 3 years ago Nywoman

Tried the recipe and could not get the peels off the peppers despite being in the oven for 3 hours. Threw them in the blender with garlic and oil and then passed through sieve.
Consistency is lovely, and swirling it into chilled green pea soup tonight.

My favorite way of peeling peppers is to quarter them, flatten out on a cookie sheet, cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes in 400 oven. Works like ac charm every time.

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almost 3 years ago Jay

made a similar past recently using roasted serrano chiles and red onions and adding some vinegar along with the oil. Looked just like the picture above, but had a bit more kick. Roasted pastes are a great way to use summer's bounty.

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almost 3 years ago cookbookchick

Roasted red peppers are ambrosial however you get there! Seems to me this wonderful sauce would freeze well, as boulangere suggests.. anyone disagree?

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almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You're teasing us with that egg cup again.

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almost 3 years ago MyGardenersTable

@ NYLatina PR: I would not recommend canning it, as it lacks acidity and then spores can develop. I make something similar when I have an abundance of red bell peppers from the garden (removing the skins from the peppers the described way is a genius trick I did not know about, will certainly try that soon). I put mine in a sterilized jar and pour some EVOO on top to seal. It keeps a couple of weeks in the fridge. The alternative is freezing it. - @ drbabs: I agree with Kristen, adding the garlic to the peppers during roasting makes it more mellow, which I prefer too.

Mcs

almost 3 years ago mcs3000

must try soon. afraid to look @ her cookbook - know i'll want it.

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almost 3 years ago NYLatinaPR

I wonder how long it keeps in the fridge. Or...if I knew how to jar/can I could do that!

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almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm wondering how long it will keep in the fridge, also. I'm guessing 5-7 days. Does it freeze well?

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almost 3 years ago creamtea

I think up to a week; you can also cut the recipe to 4 or 6 peppers and reduce the other ingredients accordingly to make a smaller amount.

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almost 3 years ago Valhalla

So the roasting process does not make them crispy, it facilitates the peeling part? I'm trying to distinguish how this is different from broiling peppers or oven-drying them so I get the consistency right.

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almost 3 years ago creamtea

They oven dry and roast very gently for a wonderful sweet mild flavor, without the bitter components of broiled peppers. They get dryer but are still a little moist.

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almost 3 years ago creamtea

Yummy!

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almost 3 years ago creamtea

(I have the cookbook and can honestly say life would not be the same without this wonderful recipe!)

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almost 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

yum...would it be a bad thing to roast the garlic at the same time as the peppers?

Miglore

almost 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

No way would that be a bad thing -- just different! More mellow, less feisty and fire breath-y.

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almost 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

And probably less stomach-upsetting. (I have a love-hate relationship with garlic. I love it. It hates me.)

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almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm thinking RG, too, drb.

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almost 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

are we showing our age?