One of the easiest, most delicious and most versatile vegetable preparations is sauteed sweet peppers (red, yellow, orange or any combination of these), finished with some wine vinegar. When marketing, we say Pepperoni in Agrodolce: Agro (sour), Dolce (sweet).
So this afternoon for lunch, I found 1/2 of a yellow pepper in the vegetable drawer, sauteed it in olive oil — quickly at first, then slowly until it was tender. Moving the saute pan off the heat, I added 2-3 tablespoons of good Italian white wine vinegar, returned the pan to the moderate heat and boiled off the liquid. A little salt and pepper, and we have a succulent, intense flavor for whatever use we need.
In this instance, a few pieces of ficelle, dipped in the oil and salt remaining in the pan, was topped with several slices of pepper and topped with a slice of leftover grilled portobello mushroom, which had been finished with a balsamic vinegar reduction, and half of my lunch was ready. Barbara’s mushroom and almond pate provided the other half, on the remaining bread and portobello.
There are more elaborate versions of Agrodolce, but the peppers themselves provided all the sweetness needed to counterbalance the vinegar. You can make it with as many peppers as you wish, sliced thinly and then sauteed. They can be used (with or without other vegetables) with pasta, risotto or polenta; or to garnish a salad; to place on crostini (perhaps with a goat or cashew-based cheese and chopped chives); or almost any other preparation needing an extra flavor boost.
Oh, yes, and the wine for lunch? A 2008 Cornalin from Valle d’Aosta by Institut Agricole Regional, as shown below:
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