Mediterranean Food Connection: Frita, or Sweet Pepper & Tomato Compote
Recipe translated from the French and adapted by Jonell Galloway (from the archives)
Original recipe by Christophe Certain
Cliquez ici pour la version française
Mediterranean countries each have their own version of sweet pepper and tomato compote. In France, they call it piperade. The Pieds-Noirs — French colonials born in Algeria — call their version of this Mediterranean classic “frita”. Unlike piperade, frita contains no garlic.
Frita is a wonderful thing to have in the fridge, because it can be used in many ways. You can eat it warm as a starter, or cold as a starter. It’s a perfect dish to make ahead for those dinner parties where you’re short on time.
You can also use frita to make bruschetta, or use it as a pizza topping or to make empanadas. If it’s still warm in the pan, you can put eggs on it, cover it and cook over low heat until the eggs are poached.
Algerians often eat frita as a side dish with merguez sausage or grilled meat and fish, such as grilled meat on a skewer or tuna à la plancha.
To make a pizza: Put a layer of frita on a pizza crust. Sprinkle with grated cheese, anchovies in oil and black olives. Bake at 450° to 500° F / 250° C until crust is cooked and well browned.
Click here for metric-Imperial recipe conversions.
400 g crushed tomatoes (fresh or canned)
3 red and green bell peppers
1 lump of sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut onions and peppers into think slices.
- Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan. Add onions and peppers.
- Cook over low heat until onions start to brown.
- Add tomatoes and sugar. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until all the vegetables are soft and form a jam-like substance.
- Taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary.