12 Weeks Of Christmas | Week 6: Baked Peppers And A Series Of Kitchen Flops


So this past week has been somewhat of a disaster for me in the kitchen. A week where I planned and prepped but crashed and burned, literally. I had specific recipes in mind to test and photograph, and not one of them turned out right. I lost my kitchen mojo.

I wanted to bake bread and make rosemary potatoes, neither of which worked out. The bread dough didn’t rise properly, and I left the potatoes unattended, which led them to burn to blechness.

Then I tried Sarah Britton’s cumin roasted carrots, but I didn’t slice them well enough and they came out all wrinkly and gnarly, hardly appetizing.

And then I thought I’d make some strawberry jam, because I’ve done it before and jam is always Christmasy. I went and bought a box of strawberries- and when I was ready to make jam, I opened the fridge to discover my toddler had eaten all but 3. Oh well.

Sometimes plans go awry. And the perfect post you plan in your head doesn’t materialize. So I decided to forget the recipes altogether and just go impromptu. Make something that I would like to share with friends, something I’d rustle up for a last-minute dinner. I took inspiration from Nigella Lawson’s baby aubergines recipe from Nigellissima, and from Simon Hopkinson’s Piedmontese peppers recipe.

So here I give you an “unrecipe,” something that works for me when I mess up in the kitchen. And I think it would be nice with some crackers and feta for holiday party.

I took a handful of baby eggplants, one large red pepper and sliced them up. (I removed the stalks of the eggplants.) Then I tossed everything with olive oil, sea salt, garlic, red chilli flakes and some dried herbs  and poured everything into a baking dish, drizzled more olive oil and baked at 200 C for about 45 mins. A squeeze of lime/lemon over the top once done, and fin.

DSC01174Here’s hoping the week ahead will turn out better.