Peperonata is an Italian dish of slowly cooked sweet bell peppers. It can be enjoyed in many ways – it’s delicious by itself, on a toasted baguette, or even as a pizza topping. Many peperonata recipes include capers. Culinary capers are the unopened flower buds of the caper plant and can be purchased pickled. The star ingredient here is the bell pepper. On a Scoville scale, these peppers score a zero, meaning they have no spice at all. All bell peppers start off green, then slowly change colours as they mature. At the farmers markets you can find yellow, orange, red, and even purple peppers, depending on their varietal. At each stage, the nutrition within the peppers changes, and so do the flavours. When the peppers are green, they are a bit bitter, and become sweeter as they mature.
Let the Project CHEF team know how you enjoyed your peperonata!
Yield: 5 servings
Preparation Time: About 30 minutes
- 1/4 cup (60mL) olive oil, divided into 2 Tbsp (30mL) then 2 Tbsp (30mL)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 ½ tsp (7mL) chilli flakes
- 1 large red pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
- ½ large yellow pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
- ½ large red onion, sliced thinly
- 1 Tbsp (15mL) fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tsp (10mL) capers, chopped
- 1 Tbsp (15mL) and 1 tsp (5mL) red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp (15mL) fresh oregano leaves
- Salt and freshly cracked pepper
- Cutting board
- Small sharp knife
- Measuring spoons
- Large sauté pan
- Wooden spoon or heat proof spatula
- Medium-sized bowl
- Press a garlic clove through a garlic press or grate with a microplane. Put aside for now.
- Cut peppers in half and remove the seeds and pith. Cut the pepper in thin slices lengthwise. Place in a medium-sized bowl.
- Slice ½ red onion in thin slices. Add to the peppers.
- Remove the leaves from several big sprigs of thyme. Add to the pepper/onion bowl.
- Heat sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp. (30mL) of olive oil. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and sauté until you can smell it cooking, about 1 minute.
- Add the peppers, onions and thyme and sauté until peppers and onions are soft, about 6 minutes.
- Measure capers, draining the liquid. Lightly chop the capers then add then to pan. Add remaining oil (30mL) and sauté for one minute.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a metal or glass bowl.
- Add the vinegar. Stir.
- Remove oregano leaves from the stems and add to the bowl. Stir together.
- Season with salt and pepper. Stir.
- Can be served warm, at room temperature or cold.
- This is nice served as a hot vegetable dish, cold salad or served on crostini (toasted baguette slices) or crackers. If you really want a tasty dish, place a thin slice of Bononcini (fresh mozzarella cheese) on top of crostini and serve the peperonata serve on top. Delish.
STEP-BY-STEP – PEPERONATA!
Gather your ingredients. We are only using red peppers today, but different colours will add more colour, flavours and nutrition – experiment with your variety.
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