Today I got for you a very simple side that reminds me of my childhood, when both my grandmothers used to make this “Peperonata” dish that I was so crazy about.
I always loved peppers, so anything containing these juicy little guys make me way, way happy!
This dish from my childhood unfortunately had canned tuna in it, so I wasn’t able to have it since I became a veggie (over 7 years ago).
And this was until I discovered a good plant friend of us vegans (and veggies too): the versatile and delicious Jackfruit!
Jackfruit, the baby right above, is a fruit that grows on a long and thick stem on the trunk of the Jack Tree. It is packed with a bunch of vitamins, especially A and C, and it also contains calcium, iron and potassium. A 100 gr of jackfruit has 1.2g of proteins and 94 kcal. One fruit can be very big in size and the biggest ones ever registered seem to weight as much as 150 pounds (70kg)! That’s massive!
The thing I like the most about it is its texture and how versatile jackfruit is.
We can use it, in fact, in a tons of dishes, and the omnis replicas that to me this fruit nails the most are pulled pork and tuna.
But don’t let your fantasy stick with these two uses.
Depending on the seasoning, marinate and cooking tecnique, jackfruit can be the main star of a myriad of vegan dishes, such as: slow cooked stews, chicken-style wings or nuggets, battered “fish” chunks, bbq pulled “pork” and even chicken-style roasted legs (click on the image for full recipe).
Nowadays you can easily find jackfruit in shops either fresh (the entire fruit or chunks of it), dried or canned. For the canned version we have 3 alternatives: in brine, in water, in syrup. First two are the ones you want to look for savoury dishes like this; on the other hand the jackfruit in syrup (and the dried version) finds its use specifically in desserts and sweet dishes from fruit salads to cakes, from granola to muffins.
When purchasing jackfruit for savoury recipes like this we want to make sure to get the young fruit in both in brine or water.
If it helps I’ll leave you a couple of links where you can get it online.
Here’s if you want to purchase only 1 can (for 2.49£), here if you’d like to buy it in bulks (24 cans for 1.40£ each).
Of course you can also get the fresh young fruit, especially if you’re lucky enough to find it.
I personally prefer the canned version to the fresh fruit, but only because where I live it’s still a bit hard to get it fresh in the shops, plus there’s only the two of us and not a big freezer/refrigerator, so an entire fruit would be simply too much for us (unless we want to live on it for a couple of weeks ahaha!).
And here in the UK it is very easy to find in shops: from big chains to indipendent off-licences.
Back to the recipe.
This is a very tasty dish that can be both a delicious side, a starter or a main.
I personally like having it on bread, bruschetta-style, as starter or to accompany some sort of main protein, like grilled tofu, seitan or tempeh.
I also love having it by itself, with bread or crakers, both lukewarm or cold (especially in summer!).
As mentioned jackfruit is supposed to replace the tuna, and in here it’s paired with sweet and juicy bell peppers, a bit of garlic, a hint of parsley and, finally, capers, for a salty and tangy note.
Overall it’s a very easy and quick recipe, that only requires as little as 6 ingredients and 6 easy steps to be transfrormed in this very comforting and delicious dish.
At the end of the post you also find a easy-to-follow video that explains every step of this recipe (click here to watch it now!).
And, as usual, I hope you enjoy it!
Bell Peppers and Jackfruit Recipe
1 kg Bell Peppers (mixed)
1 can Young Jackfruit (in brine)
1/3 cup Chopped Parsley
2 tbsp Capers
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-2 Garlic Cloves
1. Drain the jackfruit, rinse well and prepare it by removing both the seeds and cores.
2. Wash the peppers, remove the seeds and the stalks and slice into strips.
3. In a pan heat the olive oil with the garlic.
4. Add both the jackfruit and the peppers. Season with salt and pepper and fry at medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
5. Add roughly 1 cup of boiling water, cover with a lid and simmer for 20-30 minutes until tender (keep adding more water, a spoonful at the time if it dries out too much).
6. Finally add the capers and chopped parsley. Combine them well and serve!
Watch the video