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Piedmont Peppers

This image courtesy of Mark T. Shapiro

Within this simple preparation resides the essence of rustic Italian cooking: startlingly fresh ingredients, simply paired and quickly put together. It has color, an easy style, incredible flavor and a wonderful history. If you make no other recipe from this book make this one — you will be astonished at just how good it is. Include lots of earthy, rustic country-style bread alongside to mop up the juices. Don’t choose overly huge peppers for this dish. While yellow or orange peppers can be used, green peppers just don’t have the requisite depth of flavor. In Piedmont they seem to have a penchant for stuffing. Besides peppers, they stuff onions with a sweet and savory filling that includes raisins, cheese and eggs. Mushrooms are filled with their own chopped stems combined with parsley, onions, anchovies and bread crumbs. Perhaps best of all, fresh peach halves are treated to a heavenly filling of crushed macaroons blended with egg, butter and sugar before being baked.

Serves4 to 6

Cooking MethodBaking

CostInexpensive

Easy

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe CourseAppetizer, Side Dish

Dietary ConsiderationDiabetic, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Halal, Kosher, Lactose-free, Low Carb, Low Cholesterol, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free

EquipmentBaking/gratin Dish

MealDinner, Lunch

Taste and TextureGarlicky, Juicy, Salty, Savory, Sweet

Ingredients

  • 6 red bell peppers, halved and seeded, stems left intact
  • 6 plum tomatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 12 anchovy fillets, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup (125 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 whole leaves flat-leaf parsley
  • 13- by 9-inch (3 L) baking dish, oiled

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

  2. Lay peppers in prepared baking dish, cut-side up, in one layer. Into each pepper cavity, place two pieces of tomato. Sprinkle with chopped anchovies, making sure each pepper gets the equivalent of a whole anchovy fillet. Evenly distribute the sliced garlic among the peppers. Carefully pour the olive oil over the peppers. Sprinkle with just a little bit of salt (because of anchovies) and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

  3. Roast in the top half of preheated oven for 1 hour or until the peppers are tender. Cool slightly. Serve warm, garnished with parsley leaves.

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