1. The secret of success for this mezze is to keep it on a gentle simmer. Heat a large skillet (the heavier the better) over a medium-low heat. Add the oil, peppers and a pinch of salt, and let them sweat until they collapse. This should take about 35–40 minutes.
2. Add the chiles and cook for 10 minutes, then add the garlic and cumin and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. At this point your kitchen should be filled with a garlicky aroma, but we’re not there yet, so don’t dip your Challah! Add the tomatoes and gently simmer for about 30 minutes. The color should become darker and the aroma more intense.
3. This is the time to add the paprika and salt to taste. Simmer for another 10 minutes and adjust the seasoning if necessary. This is a great base for many of the recipes to follow. You can eat it hot or cold, and it will keep in the fridge, in a sterilized airtight container (see p.24), for up to a week. Now for Challah…
Reprinted from The Palomar Cookbook. Text copyright © ZLC London Ltd 2016. Photography copyright © Helen Cathcart 2016. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.