This Recipe is from my Modern Mediterranean cookbook. Pimientos del piquillo are red peppers roasted over a wood fire.
They have a tangy sweetness and an intense flavour followed by a little kick. Piquillo peppers are often poached slowly in a little olive oil and garlic, then sprinkled with flor de sal and served with grilled meats and fish.
However, their triangular shape with a slightly curved point makes them the perfect vehicle for stuffing. You can buy them packed in jars from most supermarkets.
Preheat the oven to 180c and lightly oil a baking dish with olive oil.
To make the brandade, place the salt cod in a saucepan and cover with the milk. Stud the onion with the cloves and add to the pan along with the parsley stalks, garlic and bring slowly to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for 10 minutes.
Remove the salt cod from the milk and place it in a bowl, along with the mashed potatoes. Add the olive oil, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and 2–3 tablespoons of the infused milk and mix well to form a light purée. Season to taste.
Carefully fill the piquillo peppers with the brandade and place in the oven dish. Pour over the red pepper coulis, cover with a lid or with kitchen foil and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until piping hot. Serve immediately.
Red pepper coulis
4Red peppers (chopped)
1 Medium onion (chopped)
2 ripe tomatoes (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
30ml olive oil
Sprig of fresh thyme
300ml chicken stock
Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan and add the chopped onion. Cook slowly over a gentle flame until they start to soften.
Add the red peppers, tomatoes, crushed garlic and sprig of thyme. Cover with a lid and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove the lid, add the bay leaves, chicken stock and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Remove the sprig of fresh thyme, the bay leaves and blend in a liquidiser until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve, season to taste.