Today’s recipe is an ode to Florina peppers. Florina peppers are a specific variety of peppers, cultivated in northern Greece in the region of Florina. This is where they take their name from. As the Greek food writer Evi Voutsina writes, they ripen and turn red after the 15th of August. They are a big part of the local history and culture, and there’s even a yearly local celebration of Florina peppers at the end of August in Florina.
In 1994 they were awarded a Protected Destination of Origin status. They have a distinct flavour, with a rich sweetness and are widely used in Greek cooking. They are perhaps one of the most popular preserves, roasted over open flame and jarred. Vinegar is the key ingredient in preserving here.
In our recipe today, we’ve used our organic roasted peppers to make a delicious and easy recipe. This lays somewhere between a dip and a sauce. You can add it in pasta, in roasted vegetables, or enjoy as a dip on its own. Dakos adds body and complexity to this recipe, but you can use stale bread as well. Don’t omit the tomato paste, it really transforms this dip! Check out our recipe to make your own roasted red peppers!
4 large roasted red peppers (350g)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp grape molasses
1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp tomato puree
50g dakos rusks or stale bread
½ tsp chilli flakes (plus more, to taste)
salt (to taste)
Break the dakos rusks into small chunks.
In a blender whiz together the peppers, olive oil, grape molasses, vinegar, tomato paste and dakos, until you have a smooth dip. Add the chilli flakes and season with salt. Blend for a few more seconds.
Taste and adjust for seasonings, adding a bit more grape molasses, balsamic, salt or chilli if needed.