Charcoal-roasted peppers with lemon jam and romesco


  • Serves 4 people

"I'm hosting a vegetarian barbecue and Hartsyard's peppers would be a perfect dish. Would you be able to publish the recipe, please?"
Carlie Wiles, Newtown, NSW

To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email Please include the restaurant's name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.

  • 500 gm small peppers, such as padrón, shishito and friarielli di Napoli (see note)
  • 2½ tbsp each Sherry vinegar and olive oil
  • Lemon jam
  • Thinly peeled rind of 2 lemons
  • 160 gm caster sugar
  • ½ tsp agar-agar powder (see note)
  • Romesco sauce
  • 6 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 large red capsicums, halved, seeds removed
  • 150 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 slices sourdough (about 100gm), coarsely torn
  • 1 Spanish onion, quartered
  • 1 head of garlic, separated into cloves
  • 100 gm almonds
  • 50 gm hazelnuts
  • 100 ml Sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
01   For lemon jam, stir lemon rind, sugar and 250ml water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour for flavours to develop and to reduce slightly. Set aside to cool. Add agar-agar, stir to combine and boil for 1 minute. Pour into a large container and refrigerate until set (3-4 hours). Process until smooth. This can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
02   For romesco sauce, preheat oven to 180C. Combine tomatoes, capsicum, oil, bread, onion, garlic and nuts in a large bowl, season to taste and toss to combine. Spread on 2 oven trays lined with baking paper and roast, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through (45-55 minutes). When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic from skins, then transfer garlic and remaining roasted ingredients to a food processor. Add vinegar and paprika, pulse to a coarse paste, season to taste and set aside.
03   Preheat a charcoal barbecue to high heat. Add peppers and grill, turning occasionally, until tender and golden (4-5 minutes). Transfer to a bowl, add vinegar and oil, season to taste and toss to combine. Serve with lemon jam and romesco sauce.

Note Padrón, shishito and friarielli di Napoli peppers are available from select grocer; substitute other small peppers. Agar-agar, a gelling agent, is available from Asian grocers and select delis.

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