Before you read any further, say “pepperonata” three times fast! Don’t worry, we’ll wait. Okay, now back to your regularly scheduled recipe reading. But what is the magic dish that is described by this tongue twister of a word? Well, this dish is best described as a magical pepper trifecta and is beloved by Italians and Italian food addicts, alike. Pepperonata is spicy, tangy, and sweet dish of sliced peppers. You can serve it with pastas, salads, or sandwiches. It adds a nice pop of spice and flavor to pretty much anything and everything it touches. And while you can, of course, use any color pepper your heart and mouth desires, it’s nice to have a bit of variety to give this dish as delightful a color palate to go with the delicious tastes it will add to your food palate. So have a little fun picking out peppers in all different colors, ideally one each of red, yellow, green and orange, ideally at the freshest market you have access too. The fresher the ingredients, the yummier the pepperonata.

Makes about 3 Cups

You’ll Need

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1⁄2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 bell peppers, cut into 1⁄2″ chunks
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and black pepper to taste

How to Make It

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stainless steel skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the garlic cloves and pepper flakes and cook just long enough to infuse the oil, about 1 minute.
  3. Toss in the peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are soft and lightly blistered (the best way to do this is with a screaming hot pan).
  4. Add the vinegar and cook for a minute. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Store tightly covered in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Eat This Tip

Pepper Your Pepperonata:

You know we love a good variation on a classic. This recipe for pepperonata is great as it is, but who says you can’t add or subtract a few variations to make this recipe your own? Food is best when we keep it exciting. Are you a meat eater? Add a few pieces of chopped sausage. Want to spice it up a bit more? Chop up a jalapeño pepper into the mix.

This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!

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Pickling is for more than just pickles. Nearly everything changes about a given food when you pickle it. What was harsh becomes sweet, what was mild becomes complex and spicy. Case in point: raw onions can be harsh and overpowering, but a vinegar solution takes off the edge and replaces it with a lovely sweet-spicy bite. These make one of the best condiments imaginable for sandwiches, tacos, nachos, and burgers alike, or can act as a healthy snack all on their own with a spoon or fork. Our pickled onions recipe is proof!

Makes about 2 Cups

You’ll Need

3⁄4 cup white or red wine vinegar
3⁄4 cup water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 red onions, sliced into thin rings

How to Make It

  1. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and pepper flakes in a small pan and heat until the liquid just begins to simmer. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Place the onions in a sealable jar or container and pour the liquid over the onions.
  3. These are ready to use almost immediately (give them at least 20 minutes of soaking)
    and keep covered in the fridge for up to a week.

Eat This Tip

What to Pickle:

Pickling is not only a fun activity, but it’s a great way to keep things fresh in your kitchen, no pun intended. When pickling, it’s great to get creative and place some fruits and veggies into jars that you never would have thought of. You’ll be surprised at the unique and exciting tastes that will emerge. Here are a few delicious options that surprised even us (and as you know, we’re not easily startled): blueberries, watermelon rinds, peaches, grapes, garlic, pumpkin, pork, beef, the list really goes on and on and…on. Find a few favorites and stock up! The more you have on hand the more healthy options you’ll have to snack on. Try something even we didn’t think of and give it a whirl. Worst that can happen is you don’t like it and you feed it to your dog. You know what they say: one person’s trash is another dog’s dinner…

This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!

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You decide to order a salad because, well, that’s the healthy thing to do, right? Well, depending on what is being poured on top of said salad, that may very well not be the case at all. Salad dressing is more often than not packed with unnecessary extra calories that can often exceed the very greens that it’s being poured onto. Now that’s not fair at all, is it? Bottled dressing is okay in a pinch, but how about save a few extra pounds and several extra bucks by making a homemade vinaigrettes instead. Balsamic Vinaigrette is so easy and affordable to make, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t whisk up your own dressing as often as you possible can. This balsamic vinaigrette recipe is a classic, and is also the most versatile of all dressings, able to do wonders to pretty much any bowl of lettuce and toppings you dare to toss it with. Want a few different options? No problem.

Just like the majority of our recipes, this one is made to be tinkered with. Want a sweeter option? Swap out the Dijon mustard for a little maple syrup. Craving a little spice? Swap out the black pepper for a little red pepper for some extra bite. Feel a cold coming on? Swap out the balsamic vinegar for apple cider vinegar. It’ll give you a tangy, fresh taste, and simultaneously will help your body fight off the sniffles. In fact, while you’re at it, drink a few caps full and then eat more salad, because now that you have a few low-calorie salad dressing options, salad is finally the healthy option again!

Makes about a cup

You’ll Need

2 Tbsp minced shallots (about 2 small)
1  garlic clove, minced
2  tsp Dijon mustard
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar Salt and black pepper to taste
1⁄2 cup olive oil

How to Make It

  1. Combine the shallots, garlic, Dijon, and balsamic in a large mixing bowl, along with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking as you do. Alternatively, you can combine all the ingredients in a clean mason jar and shake like crazy for 20 seconds.
  3. Keeps for 1 week covered in the refrigerator.

This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!

The post A Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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Throughout these recipes, we have raved over and over about the benefits of roasting. Whether it has been lean meats, steaks or roasted root vegetables, when you roast your food it brings out the juicy tastes like nothing else. But what about garlic? Perhaps you wouldn’t think to roast something that is already so flavorful, or shall we say…pungently strong. But the great thing about roasted garlic is that when it’s roasted long enough, it becomes sweet and nutty. In fact, roasted garlic has more in common with butter than it does with the raw, pungent stuff we’re all used to buying a little bulb of at the grocery store. Except, of course, the big difference being from that of a stick of butter is that roasted garlic basically becomes a spread that is almost completely void of calories, plus it packs a host of cancer-fighting, heart strengthening compounds, while butter just contains dairy and well…fat. Roast a whole head of garlic and use a few cloves to spike a homemade mayonnaise, or blend into a healthy salad dressing, smash a few cloves into a caramelized onion jam, or stir into a bowl of mashed potatoes. Or better yet, serve the whole entire head of garlic, hot from the oven, as an appetizer in and of itself, along with a crusty sliced baguette, some soft cheese, and a knife for spreading. Yep, that’s all you really need, because that’s just how delicious roasted garlic can be. Go start roasting and you will see, you’ll want to eat them like popcorn!

Makes about 1 head

You’ll Need

1 head garlic
1⁄2 Tbsp olive oil

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Use a knife to cut off the top 1⁄4 inch of the garlic head, barely exposing the top part of the individual cloves.
  3. Place the garlic in the center of a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle the olive oil on top.
  4. Cover the garlic with the foil and fold the ends to create a sealed packet, then place in the oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cloves are very soft.
  5. Keeps in the fridge for up to a week.

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