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Peperoni arrostiti con capperi – Roasted peppers with capers

Roasted (bell) peppers are a very popular and exquisite antipasto. Grilling the peppers in the oven or on a barbeque gives them an exquisite sweet taste, and removing the skin makes them much more digestible. To contrast this sweetness, some saltiness is often added, here in the form of capers. A fine alternative would be salted anchovies. Both the capers and the anchovies should be desalted before adding them to the dish.

The peppers can also be used as a topping for crostini or bruschette. They also pair very nice with cold cuts of meat (roasted pork loin springs to mind).

The best peppers available in Italy come from Carmagnola in Piemonte, but these are not readily available. The Spanish have their pimiento del piquillo de Lodosa, which are widely available, roasted and skinned, and conserved in tins or jars. These are excellent if you don’t want to roast your own peppers. Marinate them in the same way.

Ingredients

  • 2 (bell) peppers, red or yellow or a mixture (avoid the green ones, as they do not give the same sweetiness)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoon extra vergine olive oil
  • 5 large basil leaves, torn
  • 2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed in cold water
  • black pepper

Heat the oven to maximum, and roast the peppers for 35 minutes, turning a few times, so that the skin is charred and blackened. Let them cool, and then peel of the skin. Remove the stem and the seeds, and slice the peppers into 3 cm wide strips. Put them on a serving dish.

Put all the other ingredients in a bowl, and mix thoroughly. Cover the peppers with this mixture and let marinate in a cool place (not the fridge!) for at least 2 hours before serving.

Posted in recipes, vegetables.

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