Day Eight: Sautéed Balsamic Peppers ♥

Sautéed Balsamic Peppers, another quick and easy side ♥
Need an extra-quick and extra-easy bell pepper side dish? You don't even really need a recipe, just a little nudge of an idea. So here it is. Cut up some bell peppers, saute them in a skillet with a little onion, then finish with a splash of balsamic vinegar that forms a thin glaze. So there you go. :-) Come back any time.

Real Food, Fast & Casual. Just Two Ingredients! Not Just Easy, Summer Easy. Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Little Effort, Big Taste. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly.

What to Make With a LOT of Bell Peppers.

Every so often, we end up with a pile of peppers. Some times it's the giant bell peppers from the grocery or even Sam's Club. In the fall, it's the wonderful oddly shaped rainbow-colored home-grown peppers that spill out of the garden in August and September.

For dinner, I make Sweet Pepper Pasta Skillet, barely cooked peppers in a light cream sauce. Try it with shrimp, extra good!
For a salad, I make Sautéed Red & Yellow Pepper Relish, tossing in a few olives and a touch of mustard.
To roast the peppers, I roast a bunch all together (How to Roast Peppers in the Oven) or one at a time (How to Roast a Pepper on a Gas Stove).

Quick & Good. Now or Later. Hot or Cold.

But then what? Something super-simple, requiring no thinking and not much hands-on time because it's a side, or an "under", not the main course.

Just saute the peppers, yep, that's it. Okay, saute some onion along with the peppers, that always works out. Use some different colors, if that's what you've got. You could even throw in a poblano, a touch of heat, not too much.

But I do want you to think about three things.

SIZE Think about how big the pieces of pepper are, depending on what you're looking for. Big works but so does a thin julienne.
DONENESS I happen to like peppers a touch underdone, not raw but definitely not mushy. But that's me. You might prefer them more fully cooked, softer, more supple.
VINEGAR CHOICE If you're have white balsamic, use it, but even a deep, dark balsamic vinegar doesn't stain, it's in such small quantity. No balsamic at all? No sweat. Just use another vinegar, even plain white vinegar will form a glaze, it's just a tidge harsh, is all. Sherry vinegar? Rice vinegar? White wine vinegar? All will work.

That's it. Now get cookin'.

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Sautéed Balsamic Peppers, another quick and easy side ♥


Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 4

Prep the onion and peppers before beginning to cook so they can go in together.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, cut into vertical slices
3 large bell peppers (about 1 pound/450g after trimming), preferably 3 different colors
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Heat a large non-stick skillet on MEDIUM heat, add the oil and heat until shimmery. Toss in the onion and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until both have reached the desired doneness, maybe barely cooked, maybe cooked until soft. Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle the vinegar over the peppers and quickly stir in, it will cook off in a few seconds, very lightly glazing the peppers. Serve hot on the spot or at room temperature or even cold.

MAKE-AHEAD Sure, make the peppers ahead of time, they reheat well. Or if you like, serve later at room temperature or cold from the fridge.

LEFTOVERS last several days in the fridge, very handy to have on hand!

FROZEN PEPPERS I first cooked these peppers on all of Day Eight of A Veggie Venture's first month, the beginning of a year-long exploration of vegetables. A few months in, I realized how few "favorites" I'd found during the first few weeks. Why? I was a-l-w-a-y-s cooking with frozen vegetables. Now, I have nothing against frozen vegetables. They're often a supper-saver, there are always several bags in my freezer. (More interesting things for your freezer? Freezer Surprises: Surprising Foods That Freeze Well) But in the end, they just don't stack up to fresh vegetables. So when I sautéed frozen peppers on Day Eight, frankly, I wasn't impressed though went so far as to dub them "decent". But with fresh bell peppers almost sixteen years later? Delicious!

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Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.