I fell in love with this recipe the minute I saw Simon Hopkinson make it on his TV show “The Good Cook”. Slow roasted peppers, stuffed with cherry tomatoes and garlic, finished off with anchovies and basil. He had me drooling on my couch.
I checked and found the recipe in his book ‘Roast Chicken and Other Stories‘, which is right up there amongst my all time favourite cookbooks. In 2005 it was declared ‘the most useful cookbook of all time’, and I constantly refer to it when I’m looking for inspiration.
This is his recipe for Piedmontese Peppers. In the book, he stuffs the peppers with a whole ripe tomato, and on TV he stuffed them with cherry tomatoes. As I had a lot of the latter lying around, I went this route.
The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity. It’s all about the marriage of 6 ingredients that go so well together. It is important to use really fresh produce and the best quality olive oil you can lay your hands on.
Red peppers+tomatoes+garlic+anchovies+olive oil+ basil = sunshiny summer heaven.
Make as many as you need, and half a pepper will serve one person as a side dish.
- red or yellow peppers – de-seeded and cut in half lengthways (leave the stem on)
- good sea salt flakes and pepper
- 1 clove of garlic per pepper finely sliced, so 1/2 a clove per pepper half
- 4 – 6 cherry tomatoes per pepper half
- good quality extra virgin olive oil (I used the Delaire Graf Olive oil)
- 4 anchovies per half of the pepper (drained)
Preheat the oven to 190C. Pour boiling water over your tomatoes, allow to soak until the skin can easily be peeled off (about a minute). Peel them and set them aside. Cut the peppers in half and take out the pith and seeds. Simon recommends leaving the stalk on when you cut them in half as it holds them together. Place the peppers in a baking tray and line the bottom of each one with the garlic. Season. Fill the cavities as much as you can with the tomatoes, season again and pour over the olive oil (just under a tablespoon per pepper half). Bake for one hour.
Once out of the oven place 2 anchovy fillets across the top in a cross shape and garnish with fresh basil leaves. These can either be served warm or cold.
However you do decide to serve them, you will need some nice crunchy bread to mop up the juices.
They would be perfect for a light supper with a salad or served cold on a platter at a braai/barbecue.
I made quite a few and so had leftovers to nibble on over the next few days. They were fantastic chopped up and added to a tuna salad and mixed in with a frittata with goat’s cheese.
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