Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sweet Bell Peppers with Vinegar and Oregano


Farmer’s markets and vegetable stands are overflowing with colorful sweet bell peppers this time of the year. There are so many things you can do with them, from roasting in the oven to a quick sauté that I present here. This recipe is one of my standbys when I want something that can be prepared in advance and served at room temperature. Plus it’s gorgeous to look at. The original recipe calls for using only yellow bell peppers, but I couldn’t resist mixing in some red and orange ones for extra piazza.

Sweet Bell Peppers with Vinegar and Oregano
Adapted from Cucina Fresca, Italian Food Simply Prepared by La Place & Kleiman- serves 4

4 yellow sweet bell peppers, preferable a combination of yellow, red, & orange
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried Mediterranean oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Fresh oregano leaves for garnish

Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the stems, seeds, and membranes. Slice into ¾-inch-wide strips. Cook the bell peppers in the olive oil in a skillet, covered, over low heat for about 8 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the peppers from browning. The peppers should have some crunch to them. Add the vinegar, sugar, dried oregano, salt and pepper, and stir. Cook another 2 to 3 minutes, uncovered. Remove to a platter and garnish with fresh oregano leaves if desired. Serve at room temperature.



I will be linking this recipe to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum and On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable. Be sure to drop by and get inspired. I know I always do.

In the last week you may have noticed that I’ve been “missing in action” so to speak. For the past two years I have suffered from chronic back pain. Unfortunately there’s no silver bullet or magic operation that can fix my back problems. If there was, I would have been the first to take advantage of it. I am very much of a “can do, get-it-done” kind of person and take charge of problems the moment that they arise with vigor and determination, charging full speed ahead and getting it over posthaste. If only it was that easy this time. The only way to take charge of this kind of back pain is to accept my limitations and learn to live with it. Not an easy pill to swallow for me knowing I can’t do the things I used to do.

The good news is that I am greatly improved from two years ago when I received my diagnosis and it’s all thanks to a wonderful pain management physician and physical therapy. But I still can’t stand or sit for any length of time without pain, which has slowed me down considerably. I also wish I was able to post to my blog more frequently than I do, but as much as I enjoy it, it’s just beyond my capabilities.

To further complicate matters, last week I had a surgery unrelated to my back problem that also came with restrictions. My mother always taught me to do as I was told with no argument (yep, you guessed it - she was a teacher). So I’m being a good girl and following the doctor’s orders. Hopefully I’ll soon be back to normal. Well, as normal as I can be with chronic pain. Thankfully I have my loving husband Meakin taking good care of me and doing a great job of spoiling me rotten. For now I miss visiting your blogs and will drop in as often as I can. In the meantime I’ll be sitting around recuperating and watching the grass grow.  


50 comments:

  1. I am addicted to bell peppers and cannot get enough of them. That delicious dish looks extremely pleasant!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. This is the second time today I've heard of the Fairy Hobmother and never heard of her before!

    No wonder these peppers are a standby -- they're gorgeous and I'm sure delicious! Saved!

    And I'm glad to learn you're feeling somewhat better. I have a friend with chronic back pain and I see how unhappy it can make her from time to time. (Regular massages are part of her therapy.)

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  3. We are so fond of them also..that was fun the fairy:) good for you.

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  4. I'm so happy this I have most of this growing in my back yard and what's not is in my cupboards! This looks delicious, and I'll bet it smells heavenly.

    I'm sorry to hear about your back problems. My hubby had to come to that realization regarding his limitations - it's difficult, but he's managing.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery from your surgery! Oh, love the bunny photo too!

    Mary

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  5. Mingling of summer fragrances, I can smell them by looking at your pictures!

    I am such a lazy bum, I always throw the peppers and flavorings on a parchment lined baking sheet and simply roast them at high temperature.

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  6. What a nice way to enjoy the last peppers of summer--and beautiful as well.

    It is hard to come to terms with physical limitations but here's hoping you can find a comfortable level of dealing with them. "Visit" when you can. You are always welcome. Post when you can because I enjoy what you have to share.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  7. I hope you are feeling better each day. Thanks for the fresh and delicious looking pepper dish. Take care.
    XXOO

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  8. Fantastic photos a great recipe for this time of of the year with peppers overflowing. Saving this one Sam.
    Rita

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  9. Chronic pain is a tough pill to swallow Sam, and I am sorry you have to live with it on a daily basis.We would never have known this is the case with your posts full of sunshine, smiles and travel.

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  10. Oh Sam I wish you a speedy recovery! Chronic pain is so frustrating & your poor back. You are in my prayers!
    Thank you for the pepper recipe. In our CSA share today we have both sweet & Pablano peppers.
    I hope you have a nice & comfortable day!

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  11. Oh Sam, I wish you a speedy recovery. Dealing with chronic back pain takes a strong person and support of a loving husband. Take care.
    By the way, the peppers look delicious!

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  12. Look at the delicious moist and savory looking orange bell pepper just staring me in the face! I love the touch of vinegar! Divine

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  13. I would have to say that sauteeing peppers is my favorite way to cook them. Don't know why I've never added red wine vinegar. Sounds simple and delicious. So sorry to hear about your back problem and recent surgery. Glad to see you back in action.

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  14. Congrats on having your wish granted by the Fairy Hobmother!

    Your peppers look wonderful and perfect timing for me as my peppers are plentiful in my garden right now.

    I am sorry to hear about your surgery. I am sending healing thoughts your way.
    Hugs,
    Penny

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  15. Sweet Sam, you have been given a double-punch, but I know that you will pop back into action soon. Take it slow and easy... big hugs for Meakin for his loving support!

    Great recipe and I still have some oregano in the garden for this little treat. I love finding an easy recipe for eating healthy!

    Bises,
    Genie

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  16. Looks like the Salad Queen has been active again. I hope you have a speedy and complete recovery and I'm sure you're in good handss with Meakin looking after you.

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  17. Sam, I hate to hear that the back pain has flaired, and I hope and pray your recuperation from your surgery is swift. Sending you great big hugs. I wish I was there so I could do something to help you.

    XO,

    Sheila

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  18. Hope you are feeling better soon. The hardest thing about recovering is taking it easy, but it is the thing that will make your recovery much faster. Take it easy and watch that grass grow!

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  19. Oh, Sam. I'm so sorry to hear about your chronic back pain. Years ago when I was in my twenties I was hit by a car and ended up having back surgery. Ever since then it has been a constant struggle and there are so many things that I simply can't do. I feel for you. I really do. I'm so happy that you have Meakin and that he is loving and supportive. That makes all the difference in the world!

    Your peppers are gorgeous, full of color and almost too pretty to eat.

    I'll be thinking of you and wishing you pain-free days.

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  20. I love the color of bell peppers, especially red and orange. This looks so simple, clean and delicious.
    Congrats on the Fairy Hobmother finding you! Wouldn't I love an Amazon gift card! I have books on my wish list, waiting for them to read. SIGH. Last, but not least, sorry to hear of your physical ailments. Here's wishing you a speedy recovery. Listen to what the doctor says, and see you around when you are fully recovered. Blessings.

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  21. Sam, you won a set of the bangle bracelets! Send an email with your mailing address & confirm it is the gold set, please. Love you.....

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  22. Simplicity at its best! The colour shines through the screen!

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  23. I am not a pepper eater, but I bet my sister would absolutely love this. She adores peppers.
    You have my sympathy with your back problems. I hurt my back for the first time ever moving a couple months ago and it was absolute agony. I don't know how people who suffer chronically do it. I hope you are on the mend from your other surgery soon, too.

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  24. the bell pepper is fantastic, and the recipe too, wow, ciao Flavia

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  25. I have tried and made up many recipes with bell peppers but have not tried to cook them the way you show on this post. That will be my next way of cooking red bell peppers – looks very tasty.

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  26. Congratulations on your Fairy visit, Sam. I am so sorry to read about your back and other surgery. I have dear friends, one in particular who has stenosis and has gone through 3 major back surgeries so he can continue to golf and ski. He has a wonderful surgeon and has done very well. My best wishes to you!

    I was at the farmer's market this week and saw an abundance of peppers. Wonderful recipe for them!

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  27. Ouch, I'm sorry about your back pain and surgery. I hope your recovery is uneventful...and that you feel SO much better when you're done healing.

    PS...gorgeous melange of peppers! I could make a meal out of these~

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  28. How lucky you were, Sam, to have the fairy hobmother stop by for a visit. I'm so sorry to read about your back problems. I know how painful that can be. Hope you feel better soon.

    Peppers are so good right now and are at an affordable price! Yummy pictures.

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  29. I love simple,fresh,delicious dishes like this! I'm excited to have found your blog and love your style of cooking. Hope your feeling better soon!

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  30. Sam, these peppers look wonderful...love how you prepared them...crunchy.
    Sorry to hear about your surgery, but happy that you are feeling better. Hope you are having a nice week and wish you a speedy recovery :-)

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  31. These look amazing I love the colors of the peppers, they just pop! Actually they go so well with your blog. Lucky you, getting a visit from the Fairy Hobmother...I wish we could get a visit here in Florida!

    Soory to hear about what you've been going through with your back pain, good to hear it's better than it was. Here's hoping it will get betteryet.

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  32. Love the colours Sam, sorry heard you have back pain, hope you feeling better Sam, gloria

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  33. Sam, I'm sorry you are not feeling your best and wish lots of rest and an extra dose of healing for you. I understand how debilatating back pain can be, it's no fun at all. Take care!-----Shannon

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  34. The recipe looks simple and delicious - my favorite kind! So sorry to hear of your surgery, and the ongoing back pain. Mine seems to flare up at the most inconvenient times, though thankfully each episode generally lasts a week or less. Don't worry about not posting more often - it's QUALITY, not quanitity that counts, and your posts always have quality in abundance. Wishing you a speedy recovery, along with the ability to take some pleasure in being forced to sit and watch the grass grow. I know that's what I was trying to do a couple of years ago when I had a fairly major surgery! :) If you've got to be sidelined, might as well try to enjoy it and do things we "never have time to do," even if its simply to dream and imagine future possibilities.

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  35. Congrats on being visited by the Fairy Hobmother, Sam! What fun to win! I ahve my fingers crossed she visit me one day! :)

    I'm so sorry to hear about your chronic pain and recent surgery. I know from experience that we don't appreciate good health until we lose it. I hope that you will be feeling stronger and have less pain very soon.

    I am a big fan of peppers of all kinds! They are one of my favorite vegetables to eat raw dipped into a little hummus. I also like them as a salad the way you prepared them. The mixed variety of colors is fun to eat!

    Feel better soon! {{hugs}}

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  36. Sam, I'm so sorry about the back pain and hope things improve soon.

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  37. I will try these peppers, they look wonderful, and I may throw in some Italian sausage!
    So sorry about your back pain, my husband suffers from it and it's a terrible thing to live with. Glad you're making progress!

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  38. Sam, I'm so sorry to hear about your back problems. Nothing is worse. And once you have it, it returns over and over. Two of my kids have already had back surgery. Frankly, I think I've done better just learning what I can do and what I can't. I've had trouble since I was 19. Good for Meakin for spoiling you. You deserve it.

    Love your pepper recipe!

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  39. Sam, you always make the most gorgeous looking salads, actually everything. I have make your slald with the oranages and red onions so many times because it's so delicious and I can't wait to try this salad.

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  40. Only to say hope you feeling better, have a nice weekend! gloria

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  41. Sam you have my sympathies. I broke my back in my late teens and I know what back ache is like. I do masses of exercises every single day of my life, without them I suffer, with them my back stays strong and manageable. Take it easy and get well soon. Love this recipe. Diane x

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  42. Oh Sam! I am so sorry about your back and your surgery! Yes, be a good girl.
    Did you know I also suffer from chronic back pain? I have had 7 back procedures since May. My back is better, but like your~ there is no cure. But these treatments have really helped. E-mail me and I'll let you know what I am doing to lessen the pain!
    I'm putting you on my prayer list!
    xo Yvonne

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  43. Hi Sam,
    I know you didn't write this post for sympathy but I'm awfully sorry to hear about your health problems. You're a genuinely nice person and I'm glad you have Meakin to take care of you. I hope you're back on your feet (literally and figuratively) real soon!

    Meantime, listen to the doctor and your mother.

    P.S. Peppers look delicious.

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  44. I'd also like to thank you for your kind words about my mom. She will be forever missed and kept in our hearts. My dad has been gone over 24 years, and after we returned home late yesterday after the reception it suddenly hit me that I don't have parents and that layer of safety is now gone. However, I am thankful that my mom has wonderful brothers and sisters who have been the most supporting aunts and uncles we could ask for. Mind you, we are not young kids, but it's comforting to know they are there for us.

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  45. wonderful recipe Sam as ever so sorry to hear about your pain, I have a few friends with back issues its so hard will keep you in my prayers

    love ya

    Rebecca

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  46. Sam, may I suggest that if you have not already done so, you try acupunture. I have a bad disk and have found 95% lowering of pain with a treatment now and then. It may help you too.

    Best recipe ever!

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  47. Wow, I had no idea you had such a problem with it. I hope Meakin nurses you back to health quickly.

    I used to have serious back problems, went through therapy, meds, chiropractic, neuro, ortho, acupuncture, etc until surgery was recommended. I quit long distance running and the problem resolved itself mostly.

    So my advice is avoid exercise, it's bad for you :)

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  48. Oh, I'm so sorry you're having a hard time! I do hope you get better soon! My mother has always grown bell peppers in her garden, and this would be a perfect simple dish to use them in. Love your pictures, by the way! 'Get well soon!'

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  49. Nice blog. I'm vegetarian, so I noticed this post quickly. Thx!

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  50. Chronic back pain - ugh :( Hope you are on the mend now. LOVE this recipe and these luscious pictures!

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I enjoy reading each and every comment. If you leave a comment with a question or that requires an answer, please leave an address or way for me to get in touch with you. I appreciate your taking the time to visit my blog and I hope you'll return again soon.
Sam