Olivia Harris

London, England

I had met Sid a couple of times, but first got to know him when he arrived in London to research the Sugar book in the British Library in about 1981. He asked if I knew of any place he could rent for the summer. I offered him to come to my large, chaotic, collective and less-than-clean household for a few days while he sorted something out, and he stayed for the duration. I couldn't believe that an eminent—and clearly fastidious—professor could put up with the often self-opinionated people who passed through the house that summer. My cherished memory is of Sid lovingly preparing dinner for all of us, with arguments about the British role in Ireland raging around him. One simple but exquitie dish he taught me that summer, which I still often prepare is:

Catalan roasted peppers

Magically transmogrifies the often bitter and uninteresting taste of raw pepper.

Roast peppers (prefably a combination of red, green and yellow) under grill or in oven until the outside is black, and they have lost a lot of juice.

Cool and then peel, throwing away everything except the peeled pieces of skin. This is a long and messy job, but more enjoyable if Sid is there to chat to while you do it.

Cut into strips and arrange in alternate colours.

Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, and lots of black pepper. Even better mixed with tinned anchovy slices, and garnished with parsley or basil leaves.