Do you mind if I talk about Piedmontese peppers again….
It has been a while since I first wrote about them and I hope you agree such a simple, good recipe deserves another outing…oh and I have made them rather alot lately.
Them being these.
It’s like this..
…red and yellow peppers are halved lenghways, the cavities sprinkled with bit of maldon salt, then filled with tiny plum tomatoes, slivers of garlic and sloshed with olive oil…….Then you roast them slowly until they are wrinkled, soft, just a little sweetly charred and filled with little pools of oily, garlicky, sticky peppery juice. Even quite average peppers transform into something quite delicious.
I first ate these peppers years ago at a party, I must have been 15, it was New Years Eve, I was wearing a silver T-shirt and I thought George Harrisons ‘I got my mind set on you‘ at number 14 in the charts had been written especially for me. I was so painfully in love with the host’s son and so afraid it may be unrequited I thought I might die. My love sickness it seems, did not however affect my appetite, the food was beautifully simple, trays of peppers, a glorious baked ham, vast bowls of green salad and homemade bread. I ate 3 peppers, thought they were one of the most delicious things I had ever eaten. Then the boy kissed me, only on the cheek, just as he had kissed everyone else in the room as the clock struck 12, but it didn’t matter, he kissed me.
Many years later I came across the recipe in Simon Hopkinson’s book ‘Roast chicken and other stories.’ Memories, the taste of them and that particular night flooded back. I made them, even without the kiss they were as nice as I remembered. I even put a big tick by the recipe and wrote ‘wonderful’ which is true if not a little nostalgic.
They have become a trusted favourite in our kitchen, dependable, simple, pretty as a picture.
A perfect antipasti, sitting alone on a big white plate and served with some nice bread and maybe some salty salami and a few olives. They make good partner for plain chicken, roast lamb or baked ham or simply squashed with some peppery rocket leaves in a sandwich.
We made them for lunch while we were away in Umbria. We ate them just warm draped with salty anchovies alongside a slice of frittata, some bread and tomato salad and a glass of Caprai grechetto, then I had another one squashed on some bread, then I went to sleep.
From Elizabeth David via Simon Hopkinson’s ‘Roast chicken and other stories’
- 4 fine sweet red or yellow peppers
- 4 plump cloves of garlic peeled and finely sliced
- about 30 cherry tomatoes
- olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Anchovies to decorate
Heat the oven to 220°c
Halve each pepper and carefully cut away the white pith and shake out the seeds but try and leave the green stem intact – a totally aesthetic exercise.
Season the insides of the peppers with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Put a few slices of garlic in each halve and then cut the cherry tomatoes in halves and tuck 4 or 5 in each one, of course, the number of halves will depend on the size of your pepper
Season each pepper halve with a little more salt and pepper and transfer to a baking tray.
Dribble olive oil quite generously over each pepper halve and then roast in the oven at 220°c for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 180°c and roast the peppers for another hour or so or until the peppers are tender, collapsing and gently charring at the edges.
Allow the peppers to cool in the tin for a good long while while before carefully transferring to a serving plate, being careful to catch and precious juices and spoon them over the peppers
If you are going to add the anchovies, drape them over about 30mins before serving.