In my native country of Albania we cooked red peppers in a variety of ways. Red Peppers cooked in Pressure Cooker were called Speca Gogozhare. Once they cool down, you can cut them in different shapes and serve them in salads or crostinis. I have lived half my life in Albania and half in USA at the time of writing this post. Right now I use an Instant Pot to make these peppers.
How Do These Red Peppers Taste?
These red peppers when cooked in pressure cooker with this Albanian recipe, taste both sweet and tangy. Like they’re a little pickled.
When I first moved to US, I kept buying every jar of red peppers I saw on the store. But they were all roasted. So finally I decided to make my own!
How Do You Serve These Red Peppers?
The main way to serve these red peppers is on a salad. They can be part of a Mediterranean Meze spread. You can also just serve it over a sourdough slice of bread with a layer of ricotta. And finally I have seen them used in street food incorporated in burgers and gyros.
Tips & Notes
It doesn’t matter if you are using a simple pressure cooker or a modern version like Instant Pot. The concept of cooking these peppers is very simple. They need to cook for about 5-7 minutes pressurized.
- Garlic – on the recipe card I have added about 20 garlic cloves. However, you can add a lot more garlic and I usually do as well. I love the taste of the cooked garlic plus it’s healthy. Another benefit of the cooked garlic is that it doesn’t smell or taste as strong so you can consume more.
- Peppercorn – 1 tbsp of peppercorn is enough for about 2 lbs red peppers.
- Red Peppers – you want to pick red peppers that are thick and have a lot of flesh. It’s up to you to peel them when they are cool to the touch. I don’t peel them for salad but I do when I use them as a topping for crostinis.
- Bay leaves – these ingredient is what gives a great flavor to the red peppers.
- Vinegar – you need to use vinegar in cooking this dish. I use a simple white wine vinegar. I have heard others using Apple Cider Vinegar but I have never used it myself for this dish so I don’t know if it will do.
- Finally, recipe for pickled red peppers is very similar and also the taste is similar but the process is slightly different. Pickled red peppers will taste really tart and pickled, these red peppers are more marinated and very light pickled flavor.
Red Peppers Cooked in Pressure Cooker
- Pressure Cooker
- 2 lbs red peppers
- 20 garlic cloves I actually add a lot more because I love garlic
- 1 tbsp peppercorn
- 1 tsp salt
- 0.5 cup white wine vinegar
- 3 tbsps water
- 0.5 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 6 bay leaves
- Wash and clean the red peppers from seeds. Try to keep the original shape, remove the top carefully.
- Place peppers in the pressure cooker. Add vinegar, olive oil, peppercorn, bay leaves, salt, water and garlic. Close the lid.
- Set to cook in pressure cooker for about 5 to 7 minutes depending on how soft you like them. Follow instructions for your specific pressure cooker.
- I let my instant pot to naturally release the steam for a while then open. Remove the peppers with place them on a platter, serve cold on salads or as a topping or meze platters. Add olive oil as needed on top.
- On nutrition facts the actual values would be lower since you don’t consume the oil and vinegar the peppers are cooked in, or you consume just a little bit of that. So keep that in mind when calculating macros per serving as it is an estimate.
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please save the below image to your boards in Pinterest. Let me know in comments below if you have any questions or feel free to tag me in social media with your version of this recipe:). Thank you!
Additional Mediterranean Recipes
See below some of the my other Mediterranean recipes: