This chutney-like approach to roasted peppers packs such flavor, it can calm a raging appetite with just a few bites, particularly when served on top of good ricotta on toast. The recipe authors call for gypsy peppers, a medium, tapered variety. But if you can't find them, a combination of red, orange and yellow bell peppers can be used instead.
Make Ahead: The peppers can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Servings: 4 cups
- 8 gypsy peppers (about 2 1/2 pounds total; see headnote)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for roasting the peppers
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 red onion, cut into small dice (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 fennel bulb, cored and cut into small dice
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the peppers in a large bowl with a dash of oil and a pinch of salt, coating them evenly, and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast the peppers for 20 to 30 minutes, turning them once about halfway through cooking, or until their skins have started to blister and pull away from the flesh. Transfer the peppers to a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap to steam.
When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel them; the skins should slide off. Tear the peppers into roughly equal strips about 1/2-inch wide, discarding the stems, seeds and membranes.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Drain the capers, squeezing out any excess moisture, and use paper towels to pat them dry. Add them to the hot oil and fry for 3 or 4 minutes or until they bloom and start to become crisp. Add the tomato paste (be careful of splatters) and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes or until it darkens in color. Add the onion, fennel, crushed red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt; cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onion and fennel are tender.
Add the vinegar and use a spatula to dislodge any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, then add the peppers. Cook for a few minutes, stirring, then taste for seasoning, adding salt or vinegar as needed.
Serve the peppers warm or at room temperature; or let them cool, then refrigerate in a tightly covered container for up to 2 weeks.
Adapted from "A16 Food+Wine," by Nate Appleman and Shelley Lindgren (Ten Speed Press, 2008).
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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