Getting properly stuffed…


The association of stuffing and peppers has the ring of anathema. Experience, together with hearsay, tells us that nothing good can come of it. Just the mere consideration of such a possibility awakens the culinary Torquemada that lurks in the dark recesses of my food prejudices. There are also the visual concerns to be addressed. Not only does the bisected pepper look like a pair of gay pianist’s spectacles but the two halves appear to be offering a challenge out of the side of their toothy mouths, whilst leering at each other over their respective shoulders :

“Come on then, stuff me if you think you’re hard enough….or more to the point, if you think Jenny will ever speak to you again….”

It was as though those red devils had addressed their challenge to a cocktail fueled  Margot Asquith:

” Fuck you”…came the witty riposte, perfectly in tune with the inimitable style of that most pithed of repartee artistes.


I feel that I should be giving a reason as to why I would consider stuffing a pepper and, as fortune would have it, a timely excuse has just come to my notice on Twitter. The excuse is called “Fridge Foraging” and that is what I was unwittingly doing. In the white interior of a sparsely furnished fridge it’s hard to miss the chromatic shock of a bright red pepper. Not being a diligent forager, I felt that I had looked for long enough and took the pepper rather like a press ganged drunk would have taken the queen’s shilling. When I find myself in times of trouble Nigel Slater comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, recipe….and so it was, yet again.


Slater’s impressive tome, “Tender”, has a privileged place on my cookery book shelves. Although the pages are, unsurprisingly, filled with delicious and imaginative ideas what I really like is the shiny piece of ribbon that acts as a book marker…that, together with the cover and a tiny, illegible, but wonderfully designed, font for the page numbers singles this book out as special. I know that can be a disparaging term but, in this case, it isn’t. I quickly searched the index for “good legal things to do to a pepper” and, within the hour, had found the page number with the aid of a linen glass. On the pages relating to peppers there were so many wonderful possibilities and one of them coincided with the fridge forager in me…..torn mozzarella, tomatoes, black olives and anchovies…..I’ve cooked them , cooled them, photographed and admired them. I gave Jenny something different for supper and the peppers are now back in the fridge from whence they came…I think they’ll be very good cold…I think

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2014, anchovies, buffalo mozzarella, Cheese, Cookery Writers, Cooking, Digital photography, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, Humour, Italian food, Nigel Slater, Olive oil, peppers, Photography, photography course, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Getting properly stuffed…

  1. Misky says:

    I have “eat” and it’s in use constantly. His sausages and onion gravy is a favourite in this house. Love the photography, too.

  2. Mad Dog says:

    I remember stuffing whole peppers with a liver risotto like mixture back in the early 80s – they were very good, but one was never enough! I think Nigel Slater is best as a writer – though I note, you seem to have him singing to you – hopefully not from a rooftop on Savile Row, or he’d have to twist and shout very loudly 😉

  3. Sally says:

    Liberate them from their icy prison…. I bet they taste amazing… at room temperature.

  4. Conor Bofin says:

    Lovely peppers. Slater is a top man. I have, and refer regularly to, a number of his books. Though, in recent TV appearances, I suspect he is starting to (as it seems all TV chefs do) become a bit of a parody of himself. The hair too lank, the nutty professor appearance honed just that bit too much. Nigella went a different direction with the porn and Gary Rhodes (is he not really Nigel Kennedy) seems to have just run out of hair gel. Sorry for the bitching, I really don’t mean it. As I say, excellent peppers.

    • I read in a New Yorker feature today that 24,000 cookery books are published each year. I never watch TV cooks and only rarely buy cookery books. It really has to be something that touches…most of all, I prefer good cooks who write well:)

  5. Normally stuffed peppers are so pedestrian but this gives me a few ideas. Love it.

  6. Amanda says:

    These are some of the most beautiful stuffed peppers I’ve seen. I like that they’re halved. Beautiful color.

  7. I snorted with laughter at your description of the peppers – brilliant! I’m with you and MD regardign Mr Slater – brilliant as a food writer, tv chef…bleugh! I love Tender too (and the ribbon – great idea) and this is a wonderfully simple and simply wonderful recipe. Does Jenny hate stuffed peppers (or is it the anchovies)? How could she resist this?!

  8. Serena says:

    Stunning photograph…as usual! 🙂

  9. Francesca says:

    Now that you have fondled and stuffed a pepper, imagine what fun you will have doing the same to a zucchini- or perhaps your wife would prefer to play with it!
    Nice recipe.

  10. Every time I hear stuffed peppers, I recall this atrocious dish my mother made when I was a kid. Inedible. It’s ruined me for all time, I’m afraid.

  11. You, sir, are a master of blog titles. I’m not a huge stuffed peppers kind of gal, but I am a big fan of Nigel Slater’s. Most of what he does is just brilliant.

  12. Carole says:

    Great shots, all. I never before noticed that a halved pepper looks like a face. 🙂

  13. Angeline M says:

    Something about the nurse in me sees the halved pepper as a heart’s chamber. Oh, well…better that it is a pepper that can be filled (stuffed sounds so cruel) with yummy morsels of what ever else can be found in your fridge.

  14. Tender is one of my favorite culinary volumes as well. Happy peppers.

  15. Rörschåch says:

    You have inspired me. Time to go buy some peppers. Thank you, Roger. Gorgeous, as always.

  16. Those gay pianist’s specs cooked up a treat. It looks truly fucking delicious, my friend! 🙂

  17. Somehow those halfed naked peppers made me laugh, after seeing their stuffing the laugh made me like hmmm, that looks too good

  18. Sharon says:

    I’m less Nigel (although I like reading him) and more of a Hugh girl. His peppers are stuffed (can I say that?!) with new potatoes, feta and pesto, which I usually have random amounts of lingering in the fridge.

  19. EllaDee says:

    Were you never ever told not to not to play with your food? No? Good. Don’t stop. It’s fantastic 🙂

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