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Peppers or "Pimientos," Essential Ingredient in Spanish Food

Fresh, Sauteed, Roasted, Baked or Stuffed, The Spanish Love Their Peppers

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Roasted Peppers - Pimientos Asados

Roasted Peppers - Pimientos Asados

Lisa Sierra (c) 2008 Licensed to About.com

Peppers, also called chile, chili or chilli peppers are native to the Americas and were introduced to Spain soon after Columbus made his first voyage. They belong to the nightshade family (Solanáceas), genus Capsicum. Grown widely in the Americas, they were brought back to Europe and used as a spice.

In Spanish food, peppers or pimientos are used in many different kinds of dishes. They might be sliced, salted and fried on their own to accompany the main course or eaten as a tapa with bread or roasted and drizzled with olive oil. Peppers are often mixed with onions, eggplant and garlic and sautéed in olive oil. There are an unlimited number of recipes for peppers stuffed with fish or meat. The Spanish also dry peppers and grind them into a fine powder, making paprika or pimentón.

Pepper Recipes

Below is a list of Spanish recipes that include peppers:

Tapas

Salads & Soups

Side Dishes

  • Romesco Sauce - Salsa RomescoRoasted red peppers combine with ground almonds, olive oil and vinegar to make a smooth, rich sauce that tastes great with meat, poultry or fish, or simply spread on bread.
  • Red Pepper Sauce - Mojo Picon - In the Canary Islands, mojos or sauces are made with vinegar and oil and served cold, as an accompaniment to potatoes, meat and fish. This is a rich-tasting sauce that is easy to prepare.
  • Spanish Seafood Salad Recipe - Salpicon de Marisco - Seafood is mixed with peppers, onions, pickles, olives and tossed with oil and vinegar. Serve it as a light main course, a side dish or a tapa.
  • Sautéed Peppers with Garlic, Eggplant and Potatoes Recipe - Green peppers, garlic and potato are the primary ingredients of this easy side dish. Combine with olive oil and eggplant and serve with any type of meat.
  • Sofrito - Tomato Sauce - Sofrito is a basic tomato sauce that is made all over Spain. Tomatoes, onions, garlic green peppers and olive oil are sautéed in a frying pan.

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