Sunday, February 14, 2010

Balsamic Peppers and Onions

Very simple stuff here. I'm trying to make more homemade veggies to compliment proteins and starches. The kid may not be adventurous with veggies just yet, but I know the Pack Mule will eat anything I put in front of him for fear that he will have an empty plate one evening.

I stumbled on a beautiful bottle of balsamic vinegar yesterday when the kid and I were perusing things at Fresh Market. I couldn't resist it. Here's what I threw together with the thick, dark, pungent goodness.

Balsamic Peppers and Onions


1 tsp olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced in half-moons

1 red bell pepper, sliced in strips

1 orange bell pepper, sliced in strips

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

2-3 Tbl balsamic vinegar


  1. Heat a skillet to medium to medium-high heat, add the olive oil, and toss with onions and peppers.

  2. Stir quickly. You don't want the veggies to burn. A slight carmelization is the only kind of color you're looking for here.

  3. After cooking for 7-10 minutes, throw in the salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar.

  4. Turn the heat down to a slow simmer allowing the vinegar to become glossy and thick.

  5. Serve hot.


I'm a snob. I'm ok with paying $20-$30 a bottle for a good balsamic vinegar. If you're not used to the dark loveliness that is balsamic, you can buy whatever you like. The good stuff sometimes overwhelms the palates of people who are unfamiliar with it.

Stop by the almighty produce department and pick up a bowl of the pre-sliced peppers and onions.

Use mushrooms (cremini, anyone?), zucchini, or eggplant to beef up the veggie content. Be sure to increase the amount of balsamic you use so the veggies don't become plain Janes.


Grilled or sauteed fish such as sea bass, swordfish, and cod pair nicely with the veggies served on top. Grilled shrimp with this as a side is also great. The thickened vinegar will add a delicious undertone to the entire dish.

Grilled chicken. It's a no-brainer here, kids. Use some coriander and fennel as a rub on the chicken and see how it pairs with the peppers. Divine simplicity.

Atop polenta, quinoa, brown rice, or pasta. If you choose to use pasta, double the recipe so you're pasta becomes coated with the reduced sauce. Try tossing on some crumbled feta or ricotta salata to add some protein.


This worked exceptionally well as a reheated dish as well. I have made this early in the morning and heated it through for lunch or dinner later in the day as well as the next night as a leftover. And? It's CHEAP.