Nigel Slater’s recipes for roast purple peppers with chickpeas, and lemon and raspberry squares | Meals

The scorching purple days of excessive summer time imply plates of roasted scarlet peppers and basil, vermilion salads of tomatoes or watermelon and bowl after bowl of arterial purple cherries. There may be the summer time pudding too, with its pink-purple dome of juice-soaked bread, crushed redcurrants and raspberries. The colors go well with the temperature and shake us from our late-summer laziness. (It has been seven days of salads on this kitchen.) I did make a stunning pissaladière too, throwing strips of scorched purple peppers among the many caramelised onions and olives. We ate it outdoors, burning our backsides on the recent stone of the kitchen steps.

To refresh us in the summertime warmth, I dug out an age-old recipe from a handwritten pocket book of mine (penned within the 80s, I feel, impressed by a recipe from the late Katie Stewart) for lemon curd slice. In some ways it’s the predecessor of the lemon tart however much less fragile and extra helpful for reducing into squares to feed a crowd. The bottom is a delicate, candy shortbread made all of the extra tender for its addition of cornflour. The filling: a mouth-puckeringly sharp curd made with butter, lemons and eggs. I sliced peaches on high and added raspberries and rose petals too.

Crimson peppers had been served as a kind of salads you carry to the desk heat. The peppers want time to chill slightly so you’ll be able to pores and skin them with out burning your fingers, and the entire dish appears extra relaxed that means. There have been chickpeas included within the basil dressing, although they may simply have simply been flageolet beans or cannellini. The one watchpoint right here is to be courageous when roasting the peppers and depart them in until their skins are sporting patches of darkish brown, virtually black, guaranteeing the flesh hiding beneath is really delicate and silky.

Roast purple peppers with chickpeas and basil oil

A dish extra substantial than it seems. You might use butter beans instead of the chickpeas if you want.

Serves 2 as a most important dish, 4 with different dishes

peppers purple, massive 750g
olive oil slightly
chickpeas canned or bottled 150g

For the oil:
basil 50g (leaves and stems)
garlic a small clove, peeled
olive oil 100ml
water 2 tbsp

caster sugar a pinch
lemon juice just a few drops

Preheat the oven to 200C/gasoline mark 6. Lower the peppers in half from stalk to tip then pull out and discard the core, seeds and stem. Put the peppers cut-side up in a roasting tin, then moisten with slightly olive oil – a few tablespoons needs to be sufficient. Roast the peppers for about an hour until their skins are puffed and, right here and there, blackened by the warmth of the oven. Take away the tin from the oven and place a tea towel or plastic bag excessive to encourage the peppers to steam as they cool. It can make them simpler to pores and skin.

Put the basil leaves and stems right into a blender or meals processor and blitz to a tremendous paste with the garlic. Pour within the olive oil and the water, slightly at time, to provide you a sloppy, deep-green paste. Season with slightly salt, a tiny pinch of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. At this level the flavour shall be fairly strong and peppery.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to the dressing. Peel the skins from the peppers and discard, inserting the peppers in a mixing bowl, then add the dressing and chickpeas. Embody any roasting juice from the tin, nevertheless meagre – will probably be candy and intensely caramelised. Toss gently to flippantly coat the peppers. The sweetness of the roasted peppers will soften the pepperiness of the dressing. Switch to a serving dish.

Lemon and raspberry squares

Nigel Slater’s recipes for roast purple peppers with chickpeas, and lemon and raspberry squares | Meals
Fruity deal with: lemon and raspberry squares. {Photograph}: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

You want a stiff curd right here. Hold the warmth low to reasonable and stir intermittently.

Serves 12

For the pastry:
butter 200g
caster sugar 100g
plain flour 175g
cornflour 100g

For the filling:
lemons finely grated zest of two
lemon juice 200ml

caster sugar 200g
butter 100g
eggs 4
egg yolks 2

To complete:
a peach
raspberries 250g
rose petals optionally available

You’ll need a 24 x 30cm baking tin lined with baking parchment.

Make the pastry crust: preheat the oven to 180C/gasoline mark 4. Put the butter into the bowl of a meals mixer, add the caster sugar and cream them (utilizing the flat paddle beater) until gentle and fluffy then add the flour and cornflour. Combine to a delicate dough.

Tip the dough into the lined baking tin and press it down gently till you’ve got stuffed the bottom. Take care to not compact it. Bake for 25 minutes until pale-biscuit colored, then take away from the oven.

Put the lemon zest and juice, sugar and butter, lower into cubes, right into a heatproof bowl. Place over a pan of simmering water, ensuring that the bowl matches neatly into the highest of the pan and the underside of the basin doesn’t contact the water. Stir with a whisk till the butter has melted.

Combine the eggs and egg yolks flippantly with a fork, then stir into the lemon combination. Let the curd cook dinner, stirring often, for about 20 minutes, till it’s thick.

Take away from the warmth and stir sometimes because it cools. Easy the curd over the shortbread, taking it proper as much as the sting of the tin. Go away to set within the fridge, coated, for two or 3 hours, until agency.

Halve, stone and slice the peach into 12 skinny items. Lower the tart into 12 and place a slice of peach and a raspberry on every. If you want, just a few rose petals too on every.

Observe Nigel on Twitter @NigelSlater

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