1. Food

Bell Peppers Stuffed with Capers and Olives - Peperoni Con Capperi e Olive

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Olives, capers, peppers, and the hint of the sea that comes from anchovy filets -- who could ask for more? This does take a little time -- you have to skin the peppers -- but it's time well spent and will be quite refreshing on a summer day.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 not-too-large flat-bottomed bell peppers of the color you prefer. Yellow will contrast nicely with the olives
  • 2 slices stale bread of the sort baked in a loaf pan (as opposed to on the oven floor without a pan, Italian style)
  • 8 canned anchovy filets, rinsed, patted dry, and crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed, drained well, and chopped
  • 20-25 firm pitted black olives, ideally from Gaeta
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • A small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

Wash the peppers, brush them with olive oil, and run them under a broiler, turning them repeatedly to blister the skin on all sides. Remove them to a paper bag before the flesh has time to soften, and when they have cooled enough to be touchable, skin them, running them under cool water if need be to help the skins come away.

When you have skinned them, pat them dry and remove the tops to seed and rib them, being careful not to puncture them.

In the meantime, preheat your oven to 360 F (180 C).

Heat 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet and lightly brown the sliced garlic, being careful that it not overbrown and turn bitter. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and set it aside.

Dice the bread. Heat the oil and toast the bread cubes, a handful at a time, and as you brown them put them in a bowl with the pitted black olives, crumbled anchovy filets, sliced garlic, chopped capers and minced parsley.

When you have finished browning the bread cubes mix the filling well and use it to stuff the peppers, setting them in a baking dish lined with a sheet of oven parchment as you go.

Sprinkle the peppers with 2 tablespoons of oil, season them to taste with salt, and bake them for 20 minutes. Let them cool, and serve as an antipasto or as part of a light lunch.

A wine? White, and I'd be tempted to match like with like and open a mineral Sauvignon.

Yield: 4 servings bell peppers stuffed with capers and olives

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