When I’m in the UK I am careful to try and not buy too much food out of season and nearly always look to find out how far away it’s comes from. I like to try and keep my food miles down, but in Dubai you don’t have that much choice. Although I try and use local produce, like Lebanon cucumbers, which are a smaller than European ones. I do like a variety of ingredients and some foods have travelled from miles away. Apples for example nearly always comes from the USA or Australia and I’ve yet to see any more mainland Europe, must I’m sure there must be, but even Europe is over 5 hours away.
As the vegetables have travelled they do not last very long. I bought the peppers, for this recipe, two days ago and they are starting to turn and so had to use quickly. In the UK these would have lasted at least a week before they started to turn for the worse. I wonder if that is because they have travelled or for other reasons, like added chemicals, but I wont look into it in case I don’t like the answer.
I am a big fan of peppers as they are incredibly versatile, you can cook them quickly or a long time and they have a different texture. They work wonderfully in a salad, either raw of cooked and are very tasty when stuffed, roasted, as the main ingredient or as a complimentary ingredient in another recipe. When I was a vegetarian they became a stable in my diet and even now that I’m a meat eater I still use them a lot.
This is a very simple recipe that you can cook either quickly, if you want crunchy peppers or longer if you like them softer and sweeter. It’s also very low in fat and a healthy meal and if you don’t want to use chicken it makes a lovely light vegetarian meal.
- 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
- 1 red chilli (optional)
- 4 peppers of each colour, red, yellow, green and orange, sliced
- 400g tinned tomatoes
- 2 tbls tomato purée
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 400g chicken thighs, skinned, boned and diced
- 100g black olive, stoned and sliced
- salt and pepper to season
- (serves 4)
Put the oil into a pan and turn on the heat. Add the onions, garlic and chilli (if using) and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the onions are soft, but do not allow to brown.
Add the sliced peppers and mix into the onion mixture and gently fry for 4-5 minutes.
Throw in the tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, mixed herbs and bay leaves and mix together and bring to the boil
Add the chicken, olives and salt and pepper to season. Cook for a minimum of 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked or like me for over an hour as I like soft peppers
Serve with any kind of pasta or long grain rice.
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