Happy Accidents

Sweet meets its match
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Sometimes the greatest recipes are those that simply fall into place. Such is the case of this sweet-and-sour red bell pepper side dish, the brainchild of Evan and Sarah Rich, chefs and owners of San Francisco's newly opened Rich Table. Gleaned from the fortuitous proximity of a sweet-pepper purveyor and a honey stand at the farmers' market, this full-flavored dish is like a gentler version of Italian agrodolce. The menu at Rich Table shifts constantly, but this inspired relish will be a stalwart in our late-summer kitchen.

Sweet-and-Sour Peppers with Basil

Recipe adapted from Evan and Sarah Rich, Rich Table, San Francisco

Yield: Serves 4

Cook Time: 5 minutes


¼ cup honey

¼ cup sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to finish

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 pound sweet Italian peppers, such as Jimmy Nardello's (about 8 small peppers) or 2 red bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped

¼ cup fresh basil leaves, torn into large pieces


1. In a large bowl, whisk together the honey, sherry vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt.

2. Place a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and half of the peppers. Cook until the peppers are charred and cooked, but are still crunchy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the peppers to the bowl with the honey mixture. Place the remaining teaspoon olive oil in the pan and cook the remaining peppers. Combine with the first set of peppers and toss together.

3. Toss the remaining peppers with the honey mixture and season with salt. Set the peppers aside to marinate for at least 15 minutes (or up to overnight), then sprinkle with the basil leaves and serve.

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