Sweet Red Pepper Relish

Condiments are the hardest thing to find if you’re looking for low-FODMAP ingredients lists. It’s almost impossible to buy all manner of sauces without onions and garlic - they’re in everything! And yet these are undoubtedly storecupboard staples - on a night when you don’t have time to cook something elaborate and you don’t want to risk takeaway or ready meals, it’s nice to be able to open a bottle of sauce, pour it over some protein, throw it in a pan and be done with it.

Make a jar of this piquant-sweet relish and use it to top chicken or (onion-free!) burgers; add it to tinned tomatoes to spruce up a pizza base or bolognese; stir into a risotto; grill under cheese on your favourite sourdough toast for a refreshingly different breakfast… the possibilities are limitless (although I’ve yet to try it on ice cream!) One thing is for sure: thanks to the spices and red wine vinegar in this recipe, you won’t miss the garlic and onions!


FODMAP-rating: excellent - make sure you are strict in removing the white part of the spring onions.
Difficulty: easy
Preparation time: just a few minutes if you have a food processor; up to 30 minutes if you very finely slice the peppers by hand.
Cooking time: about an hour attended; don’t leave it alone to burn dry.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp garlic oil
  • 3 spring onions, very finely sliced (no white bits!)
  • 1 lime, zest
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped (remove ribs and seeds for milder heat)
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, crushed and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 very finely and evenly sliced red peppers - food processor blade attachment is easiest
  • 125ml red wine vinegar
  • 55g sugar

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium-low heat and sweat off the spring onions, lime zest, chilli and ginger for a couple of minutes until soft but not browned.
  • Add the fennel and nigella seeds and cook for another minute or so until you can smell the spices coming through.
  • Mix in the red pepper slices, stir to coat thoroughly and turn the heat down to low. Cover and cook for several minutes until the peppers start to soften.
  • Add the sugar and red wine vinegar and stir to combine, ensuring that the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer slowly for 50-60 minutes (with the lid on) until the peppers are very soft. Stir regularly and do not allow to burn dry - add a few tablespoons of water every now and then if necessary.
  • Pour into a clean, sterilised jar (I use a jam funnel to minimise mess and burnt fingers) and seal whilst still hot.

It will keep in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks - if you can resist!