A few weeks ago, I was wondering what to do with a big bag of mini peppers. My friend, Cara, sent me a recipe for pickled peppers that sounded interesting. I like pickles AND peppers. I’ll be honest. I didn’t actually make the recipe she sent me. However, I did sort of kind of follow some of the directions, used most of the ingredients and added some other things and made a new recipe that is inspired by the one she sent me. Does that count? In any case, I came up with a Pickled Pepper Slaw that I think is pretty darn tasty, and I thank Cara for the idea.
To go with my tangy twist on coleslaw, I made cheese & olive sandwiches. I had a debate the other day with my mom over whether it’s a “Toasted Cheese Sandwich” or a “Grilled Cheese Sandwich.” I think toast is made in a toaster, and she thinks to be considered grilled it should be cooked on an actual grill. We may both be right on this one. Technically, this is a Pan-Fried Cheese and Olive Sandwich. It is melty and good.
Pickled Pepper Coleslaw
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 cups sliced mini sweet peppers (or bell peppers)
2 cups napa cabbage
1 tbsp parsley, chopped (optional)
1 tbsp. chives, chopped (optional)
Combine vinegar, sugar, salt, crushed red pepper and red onion in a glass bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir to make sure sugar and salt are dissolved. Cool. Add sliced peppers and cabbage and toss to coat. Taste to see if seasoning needs adjusting, add fresh herbs and toss again. This is best if made ahead AT LEAST a half hour, a couple hours would be even better.
Pan-Fried Cheese & Olive Sandwich
Assorted olives, coarsely chopped (I used kalamata and pimento-stuffed green olives)
Heat skillet over medium heat. Spread one side of each slice of bread very lightly with butter. Put butter side down in the pan and build your sandwich, alternating slices or chunks of mozzarella with a sprinkle of chopped olives. Put the other piece of bread on top. Cook until brown on the bottom. Carefully flip and cook until brown on the other side.