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Summer Capsicum and Basil Salad in a Jar

  • 15 minutes
  • 15 minutes
  • 2 jars
Summer Capsicum and Basil Salad in a Jar

Towards the end of summer, peppers in all colours are abundant and prices fall, which coincides perfectly with the best time for basil, which needs hours of hot sunshine to become heady with aniseed-y flavour – something you do not get from commercially grown basil. Usually, I only use deep red peppers as they are sweeter - the immature green capsicum can be quite bitter – but orange and yellow varieties which are slightly sweet and less acidic than the green add rays of summer colour. A true favourite recipe from my kitchen to your home, and one I make every summer to give to friends.


  • 6 large capsicums, any colour, or a mix of colours
  • 1 large brown onion, peeled
  • 6 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup olive oil, preferably virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard of any flavour, but French or Dijon will afford the nicest result
  • 2 tablespoons well-rinsed capers
  • 1 (250ml) cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • about 12 large fresh basil leaves, well washed and dried with stems removed.


  1. Grab a large knife and cut the pepper into three pieces, cutting from the side of the stalk downwards. This way, the seeds which are bundled around the inside of the stalk of the capsicums will stay attached. Scarp away any remaining seeds from the slices.
  2. Snuggle the capsicums close together, skin-side uppermost, on a foil-lined baking tray and sweep a light brushing of olive oil over the tops of the slices.
  3. Grill under a high heat until the skins are charred (well blackened). Remove the tray from the oven and carefully fold one end of foil over the top of the capsicums so that it is like a sandwich of foil, capsicums, foil and leave them to steam. Once cool enough to handle, peel away and discard the charred skins. Cut each slice of capsicum in half.
  4. Cut the onion into thin wedge shapes and slice the garlic cloves thickly. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onions, cooking over a moderate heat until they are soft but not brown. Add the peppers, garlic, mustard, capers, vinegar, and sugar, and allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Bottle into large, warm, dry sterilised jars, layering the capsicum mixture with basil leaves. Cover with paper towel and when cold, seal and label.

Cooks Tips

Steaming the grilled capsicums allows the skins to lift away from the flesh, making peeling easier. Do not be tempted to place hot slices under cold water to cool the capsicums quickly as this washes away valuable flavour.

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