Now is the moment to gather the last tomatoes and zucchini from our gardens, before the bad weather starts. It is also the best time to harvest herbs such as basil, but also mint, lemon balm, oregano and parsley, which should be left to dry in a dark, well-aired room. September is the month when chilli peppers ripen: these too should be picked and left to dry or alternatively, used fresh when making preserves and bottled vegetables. Further south, it is also the time to harvest the last peppers and aubergines.
It would be a shame to waste all these beautiful herbs and vegetables, but since it is impossible to eat them all now, it is time to get to preserve them. This way, we can enjoy them all year long. Below is a recipe for roasted peppers in oil.
Rinse the peppers in running water, pat dry and remove the stem. Line an oven tin with silver foil, arrange the peppers on it and roast at 250 °C for roughly 30 min. Turn the peppers over and cook for a further half hour.
Meanwhile sterilize some glass jars. Once the peppers are roasted, place them inside a freezer bag, seal it and let them rest for at least 20 minutes. This way, the steam trapped inside will make it easier to skin the peppers. Remove their skin, cut in half and eliminate their seeds and innards. Cut the peppers into strips and set aside. Squeeze the garlic from its skin, cut lengthwise and remove the fine green shoot inside. Chop up coarsely. Rinse some basil leaves well and pat dry.
Pour a few spoonfuls of olive oil inside the jars, then layer the peppers, alternating the colours, some chopped garlic, basil leaves, salt and a few pepper corns. Press down with a fork and add more oil if required. The peppers should be completely submerged, and no air bubbles should be trapped inside the oil. Cap the jars and place them for 20 min in a pre-heated oven set at 100 °C to make them airtight.