Red Pepper Chutney

Joe Yonan’s Red Pepper Chutney

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This sweet, sour, and spicy chutney is one of my favorite "flavor bombs". It goes great on eggs or as a topping for homemade pizza. I like to serve it on top of toasted baguette slices with a little goat cheese to temper the heat. Joe Yonan is the Food and Dining editor of The Washington Post, where he writes the Weeknight Vegetarian column.
Servings 2 cups
Author Joe Yonan


  • 2 large or 3 medium red bell peppers (about 1 pound total)
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 3 large shallot lobes, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ¼ fennel bulb, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/4 cup)
  • ½ tsp teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, plus more as needed
  • 1 tsp sugar, plus more as needed


  • Preheat the broiler with the rack set 4 to 5 inches from the element or flame. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Split the bell peppers and poblano pepper through the stems and lay them cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet. Broil for a few minutes, then turn the sheet front to back and broil for a few more minutes, until the peppers are completely charred. Remove from the broiler, and let them cool on the baking sheet. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, slip off and discard the peels, stems, cores, and seeds. (Resist the temptation to do any of this under running water, or the flavor will be lost.) Tear or cut the peppers into roughly equal strips about 1/2 inch wide.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Use paper towels to pat dry the capers. Add them to the hot oil and fry until they bloom and start to become crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste (be careful of splatters) and cook, stirring, until it darkens in color, about 2 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, fennel, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the vinegar and use a spatula to dislodge any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, then stir in the sugar. Add the peppers and cook for a few minutes, stirring. Taste for seasoning, adding salt, vinegar, or sugar as needed.
  • Serve the chutney warm or at room temperature. Or let it cool, then refrigerate in a tightly covered container for up to 2 weeks.


Reprinted with permission from Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One by Joe Yonan copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.