You Need to Know About “Slinky” Red Peppers

published Jun 21, 2023
Kitchn Love Letters
Slinky Red Peppers with Capers and Sherry Vinegar Recipe

A fast and fancy red pepper appetizer recipe from Sheela Prakash’s cookbook, “Mediterranean Everyday”.

Serves4

Makes1 cup

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Slinky red peppers in bowl with crostini beside.
Credit: Photo: Kristin Teig Photography; Food Styling: Catrine Kelty

I am a Type A planner. So it should come as no surprise that I have a back-pocket recipe I can rely on for basically any and all occasions. For example, honey-glazed pork tenderloin is a special-occasion and holiday staple. But when there are a lot of people around the table or I want something a little more hands-off, then I go with slow-roasted herby salmon. Greek yogurt panna cotta is my go-to dessert for most occasions. I’ll usually serve a mushroom tart or savory galette for lunch guests. Unless it’s summer, then grilled chicken salad it is. Overnight guests will likely wake up to baked oatmeal. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. 

Missing from this list is an appetizer. I spent years trying to find a great back-pocket appetizer that I could affectionately describe as fast and fancy. Something almost effortless to pull together, yet totally dazzling and impressive, and of course delicious. Then three years ago, I picked up my fellow Kitchn editor Sheela’s first cookbook, Mediterranean Every Day, which has a chapter dedicated to easy, simple bites and snacks. I bookmarked the recipe for slinky red peppers immediately. It seemed right up my alley and I already had the ingredients it required. Having tested and cooked countless of Sheela’s recipes over the years I already knew I was bound to enjoy these peppers. But I was truly not prepared for just how absolutely amazing they are. 

These slinky red peppers are the appetizer that will raise eyebrows and have people asking for the recipe. 

Why I Love Slinky Red Peppers 

I’ve never before made any kind of recipe that checks so many boxes. These tangy peppers are a total unicorn of an appetizer.

This is the most low-effort, high-reward appetizer I’ve ever met. It requires four pantry ingredients, all of which I happen to always keep stocked, and tastes far, far greater than the sum of its parts. Not only can they be made in advance, but they’re actually better for it; the sharp tang of the sherry vinegar, briny capers, and richness of the olive oil have time to meld with the peppers. I always love a good make-ahead dish, but more times than not I’ve thrown this snack together on the fly (it takes less than five minutes!) when friends are already at my house. We dig right in, and it’s still amazing every time. 

Best-case scenario, I’ve planned ahead and have a baguette that can be sliced, toasted, and used as a slinky pepper vessel. Otherwise, I know I can always pair them with sturdy crackers or pita chips — one of which I’m certain to have. Or I spoon a mess of peppers over some store-bought hummus or Greek yogurt for an instant dip.

And if I’m being totally honest, I also love these savory peppers for the kudos they garner every time I serve them. No matter the gathering, I know when I set the bowl out, that’s where everyone will gather. The entire bowl of peppers will be devoured and someone is bound to ask for the recipe. And those in the know now ask in advance if I’ll be making “the peppers.”

How to Make Slinky Red Peppers 

This recipe takes minutes (no more than five) and couldn’t be easier. Combine a jar of drained and sliced roasted red peppers, extra-virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, chopped capers, a pinch of kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper in a medium bowl. Stir together and marinate for 20 minutes. That’s it. Easy-peasy.

If You’re Making Slinky Red Peppers, a Few Tips 

  • Start with a jar of sliced roasted red peppers. I always do this because it minimizes the prep even more.
  • Make the peppers in advance. The longer the peppers marinate, the more flavor they have. If you make them more than 20 minutes ahead, refrigerate in an airtight container, and take them out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you plan to serve so they can come to room temperature.
  • Make extra. You want leftover peppers, trust me! As good as they are as an appetizer, the leftovers are almost better. I love them spooned over fish, chicken, pork chops, and steak. They’re great tossed with pasta, spooned over polenta or rice, mixed into a grain or simple arugula salad, and topped with a couple of fried eggs.

Slinky Red Peppers with Capers and Sherry Vinegar Recipe

A fast and fancy red pepper appetizer recipe from Sheela Prakash’s cookbook, “Mediterranean Everyday”.

Makes 1 cup

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 (12-ounce) jar

    roasted red peppers, drained and cut into slices

  • 1 tablespoon

    extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon

    sherry vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons

    capers, chopped if large (rinsed well if salt-packed)

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the roasted peppers, olive oil, vinegar, capers, a pinch of salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Stir and let marinate for about 20 minutes at room temperature, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Let the peppers come to room temperature before serving with toasted baguette slices or sturdy crackers.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Reprinted with permission from Mediterranean Every Day © 2020 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. Text © 2020 Sheela Prakash Photography: Kristin Teig Photography. First Published in 2020 by The Harvard Common Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group.