Melted-Pepper Spread

Melted-Pepper Spread

Think of this as a cousin of the classic pepper stews pepperonata or piperade, but cooked down and caramelized to feature the peppers and onions’ sweetness and luscious, spreadable texture. Its terrific as a condiment for eggs, simply cooked meats and fish, or spread on toast for a quick meal with hearty toppings, like cheese and herbs, leftover meats or roasted vegetables.


  • 12 ounces onion (about 2 medium)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 ½ pounds red bell peppers (about 3 medium)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (about 6 sprigs)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons red-wine vinegar, or to taste
  • Nutritional Information
      • Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

        143 calories; 9 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 6 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 13 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 7 grams sugars; 2 grams protein; 431 milligrams sodium

    Note: The information shown is’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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  1. Slice the onions thinly, into 1/8-inch half-moons. (A food processor is great here, and you can reuse it for the peppers later.)
  2. Heat the oil in a large, tall-sided skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions and 2 big pinches of salt. Stir every couple of minutes so they become soft without getting too much color (browning in spots is fine), about 10 minutes total.
  3. Meanwhile, stem, seed and slice the peppers into 1/8-inch strips.
  4. When the onions are ready, add the peppers and garlic and another 2 big pinches of salt, and stir until the juices collect in the bottom of the pan, then let it cook. After about 10 minutes, the juices may have cooked off, so keep a closer eye on the pan, and stir more frequently so it doesn’t burn.
  5. After 5 minutes or so, or when the sound has turned from a steamy bubble to a more crackling sizzle, you’ll want to stir about 30 seconds to a minute, to pick up any bits that have caramelized, and dissolve them back in.
  6. After another 5 minutes, or when the peppers are very soft and spreadable and everything smells fantastic and sweet, add the thyme and vinegar and cook, stirring, for 1 more minute. Taste, and add more salt or vinegar if desired. Remove the peppers from the heat, and let cool. Store, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks. It tastes best at room temperature or warm.

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