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Author Notes: This spicy and piquant appetizer was and steel is one of the favorites in our family. My mom used to deep-fry the peppers in an old cast iron cattle, which she kipped especially only for frying the peppers.
I like a very hot and fast method because it enables the peppers get the smoky flavor and in the same time prevent them from getting too soft and falling apart, but now days who would like the smoke and hot oil splatters in the kitchen?
To achieve the same taste and firmness I broil the peppers when I need a large portion or char on the stove top one or two. I also like to use fresh tomatoes for sauces in the pick of the season and make the sauce ahead because the ingredients all meld together.
For the salad and tomato sauce:
- • 3 red Jalapeno peppers
- • 6 Poblano peppers
- • 1 tablespoon pure olive oil for broiling the peppers
- • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil for tomato sauce
- • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- • 6 medium tomatoes
- • 4 garlic cloves
- • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves
- • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
- • Coarse salt
For Zucchini Caviar
- • 6 zucchini or green summer squash, peeled and thinly sliced
- • 3 tablespoons olive oil
- • 1/2 medium white onion, grated on the large side of a grater
- • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely grated
- • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat broiler; lay out peppers on a flat roasting pan lined with foil. Lightly brash the peppers with olive oil on all sides.
- Place the pan on a rack about 4-inches under the broiler and broil until you can hear their skin starts popping, then, using tongs turn them over only ones and in about 5-7 minutes the peppers are ready to come out of the oven.
- Steam peppers in a bowl covered with plastic wrap and I also like to salt them liberally to add some flavor while the peppers are steaming.
- When the peppers are cooled, peel of the skin, discard seeds and stems then cut in long strips about 1/4-inches wide and toss with some more olive oil and salt if needed.
- Make sauce: Cut the tomatoes in half and grate on the large side of the grater into a bowl. Add garlic, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, the parsley, dill, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 cup oil.
- Pulls together in a food processor just two- three times or crush with a wooden spoon. Let stand at room temperature 1 to 2 hours.
- In a large sautéing pan heat 1tablespoon olive oil on medium heat, add all zucchini slices and some salt. Cover with a lid and cook until slightly softened.
- Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high and continue sauté, stirring with a wooden spoon until golden brown and all the liquid evaporates. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature.
- When cooled, add the grated onion garlic and vinegar, mix to combine; then slowly stir-in remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Serve separately like you can see in my photo or the fresh tomato sauce on top of the peppers.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chili Pepper Recipe