Sometimes it is simplicity which works the best with food. I’ve been discovering this as I’ve been exploring the latest cook book that we are looking at for The Cookbook Guru, The River Cafe Cook Book by Rose Grey and Ruth Rogers. The recipes take regional Italian cuisine, staying true to local tradition and priding themselves on using only the very best of ingredients, wether that be growing it in their back yard or shipping it in directly from the best in Italy. When the book was published back in the 1990’s Australia’s food culture was really starting to blossom and embrace it’s migrant influences and getting a hand on some of the ingredients required would have been very challenging. These days it is much easier for us to access great regional produce from around the world which means there is no excuse not to make some great food in our kitchens.
First up I lept on the opportunity to make this simple dressing of Roast Chilli’s. Mr G LOVES chilli’s and I liked the idea of something with a bit of bite. With the BBQ out to grill a shoulder of lamb for dinner it was the perfect excuse to chargrill these properly and really enhance the taste. The recipe is simple and easy to create, although I would’ve loved some guidence from the author’s about what to use it for once made. Luckily I’m not lacking in creativity and was able to come up with a few idea’s, although I’m not sure how “authentic” they are. The other thing I would’ve liked to know what what variety of chilli’s they use as stating medium sized was a bit vague. I used 4 large mild chilli’s and then 3 birdseye chilli’s to give my sauce a bit of zing. Vary this ratio depending on your love of heat.
We loved this drizzled over a warm vegetable salad served with grilled haloumi cheese, and a spoonful over my eggs with a zucchini fritter was a delightful experiment too. I think it would be as equally delicious drizzled over some grilled salmon or BBQ pork too.
Salsa di Peperoncini Scottati – Grilled Chilli Sauce
Taken from The River Cafe Cookbook by Rose Grey and Ruth Rogers
- 6 medium fresh red chillis (I used 3 large mild ones and 3 birdseye chillis)
- 6 tbl sp olive oil
- sea salt
- 2 tbl sp fresh lemon juice
Grill the chilli’s over a flame until the skin is charred black. Place in a freezer bag or covered bowl and allow to cool. This will make the chilli’s sweat and make it easier to remove the skins. Once cool, use a knife to split the chilli’s in half and remove the skins and seeds within. Cut into smallish pieces and place into a jar along with the salt, olive oil and lemon juice. Shake well and serve or alternatively puree with a stick mixer or blender. I think this was best served the day after making to allow the flavours to meld together. The dressing will keep in the fridge for up to a week in a sealed jar.
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