It's the time of the garden season when I feel almost oppressed by all the produce coming out of the garden. I've been freezing corn and broccoli and zucchini and swiss chard and peppers and tomato sauce; I've been canning tomatoes. I've been eating lots and lots of vegetables; I have to eat my way through 7 heads of cauliflower––which are early and luckily not all ripening at once––because I don't like frozen cauliflower. (See my post "Cauliflower, Four Ways") I'm always looking for new ways to prepare vegetables, so when I had lunch guests this week I pored through Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone's chapter on appetizers and found a delicious roasted red pepper spread. I also made a carrot and potato appetizer from Claudia Roden's Mediterranean Cookery. These two favorite cookbook authors never disappoint.
Roasted Red Pepper Spread
1 large red bell pepper, roasted
1 garlic clove
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
a few drops of red wine vinegar
salt and freshly groung pepper
I roast the pepper over the flame on top of the stove, turning it until it is blackened and soft; then I scrape off the black skin and remove the stem and seeds.
Drop the garlic into a food processor while the blades are running, then add the oil and pepper; process until fairly smooth. Or you can use a mortar and pestle. Then add vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste.
Carrot Potato Appetizer
1 1/2 lb carrots
1 lb potatoes
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 teas cumin
3 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
large pinch of cayenne
Peel the vegetables and cut into pieces, the carrots smaller than the potatoes because they take longer to cook. Put them in a pan with the salt and garlic and water to cover; boil until soft.
Drain, mash, and stir in the rest of the ingredients.