Tuesday, October 23, 2007


This recipe is an adaptation of one that goes back in my family for generations. Its Portuguese in origin, and its used in more dishes than I can count- it adds flavour, colour and smells amazing when cooking. Basically a pesto made from red peppers, they would buy them by the bushel and layer them sliced with salt. These would ferment and create a salty mush which is blended with garlic and chillies. My version can be made in the same day- and I believe it tastes pretty much exactly the same. I use it mainly for marinading meat before baking, roasting or barbecuing, but I've listed other uses below.


8-10 ripe red peppers
5 Whole Garlic bulbs, cloves peeled
1 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup chilli oil + some of the chilli flakes
1/4 cup salt
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp sweet paprika


1. Roast the peppers until the skin is black and blistered, and place in a biiiig bowl. Cover with cling film, when cool remove skin. Blend the peppers untill finely blended.

2. Peel the garlic cloves by separating them from the bulb, and placing in a plastic bag. With a rolling pin, and the bag in one hand, beat the garlic. This will enable you to peel them all with ease. Add the other ingredients to the food processor and whiz for 5 minutes or until smooth. Put into sterilized jars and seal. Store in a dark place for up to 2 years.

My Favourite uses for Pimentao
1. Put 3 tbs in a chicken marinade- with slices of lemon and bbq
2. Put 2 tbs in with uncooked rice and stock, with chorizo, safron, peas and carrots for savoury rice
3. Cook 4tbs with bacon and tomato puree and mix with pasta
4. Marinade Pork leg cutlets with white wine, bayleaf and a few tablespoons and roast in the oven with potatoes
5. Use when cooking Bacalhau- Portuguese salt cod

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