Grilled Peppers with Pesto and Pernod
Delicious Grilled Peppers
Is this oil good for dipping or what?
Looking for something different when doing grilled vegetables?
Then this is the recipe for you.
Easy to prepare, and can be put on the bbq along with whatever else you are grilling. The pesto in this recipe balances the lovely sweet pepper flavor and the licorice from the Pernod imparts a wonderful taste that makes the oil great for dipping.
Ready? Let's get cooking...
Bell or sweet peppers belong to the Nightshade family of veggies. Their cousins are potatoes, eggplants and tomatoes.
Sweet peppers are plentiful in the summertime
Do the colors make a difference in the taste of peppers?
The short answer is yes.
Green peppers are the least mature of these vegetables, and are harvested before they are ripe. If they are left on the plant, they first turn yellow, and then red.
The yellow and red varieties are fruitier and sweeter, with the red ones being the very best. They don't have that somewhat bitter taste that the immature green ones do.
Remaining on the vine makes the red peppers nutrient powerhouses too. They are loaded with beta-carotene and Vitamin C.
Ingredients for making this wonderful grilled veggie dish
- 1 small green pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 small red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 small yellow pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup olive oil
- 3 or 4 ounces pesto sauce
- 1 ounce Pernod
Instructions for making perfect grilled peppers
- Preheat your bbq. If using gas, turn it to high until the temperature is 500°F. If grilling with charcoal, wait until the coals turn gray. Turn the heat down so the temperature remains at between 450°F and 500°F.
- Wash the peppers, then slice them into thin strips lengthwise. Place in a bbq-safe roasting pan.
- Add the olive oil, pesto sauce and Pernod. You may need to adjust the amounts slightly to get the consistency right...you want enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and enough pesto to nicely coat the peppers.
- Place pan on the bbq and close the lid. Stir the peppers every 10 minutes or so to make sure they are evenly cooked and not sticking to the pan.
- They should be done in 30-40 minutes.
- Remove to a serving dish or platter. Serve with lots of fresh crusty bread.
How do I know when they're done?
When the peppers are nice and limp and their tips are turning brown, they are ready to come off the BBQ.
Tips for making this dish
- The alcohol in the Pernod will burn off during the cooking process. What remains is a slight taste and aroma of licorice.
- The peppers are done when they are limp and the tips are turning a little brown.
- You can use any prepared pesto sauce or use your own fresh sauce if you have some on hand.
- The pan gets a little messy cooking these up, especially if the pesto sauce you use has any cheese in it. The easiest way to avoid cleanup is to use a disposable aluminium roasting pan. If you use a regular pan, soaking it in hot, soapy water makes any cooked-on pesto come away easily.
- Make sure you have lots of crusty bread on hand. The oil takes on the flavors from the pesto, sweet peppers and Pernod, and is great for dipping. Almost a meal by itself!
Red wine works really well with these bbq peppers. A lighter Cabernet Franc will work well with this dish, matching the sweet pepper flavor. A nice one to try is from Peller Estates. The hints of tobacco, violet and oregano really are a great pairing for this dish.
You could also try something that is more fruit-forward. Bigger reds that work well with this dish include California Zinfandel and Australian Barossa Valley Shiraz.