Whenever peppers are in season or if there is excess lying around, I always default to this amazing Simon Hopkinson recipe for Piedmontese peppers. It really is my all-time favourite way to eat them. The flesh roasts to soft perfection with the garlic and tomatoes, and the fresh basil and anchovy fillets take it to a heavenly level. Serve a platter of these along with crusty bread and other salady bits and you have a summer meal that will have your guests salivating.
But because I’ve done these so many times I really wanted to try something new, so added feta and olives to the mix. They turned out to be quite delicious. You can add anchovies or leave them off, it’s totally up to you or do half a half. Fresh basil and caperberries finish a platter of these beauties perfectly.
The second recipe I tried was based on a tweet from a friend who suggested I look at a crumb-type vibe. As I adore crunchy bits I decided to adapt my filling from these stuffed artichokes – another great recipe for spring artichokes which are in season now, and fill the peppers. For these, I used small red and yellow peppers and you don’t need that much filling to get a thick crunchy layer of herby, Parmesan crumb. Ridiculously delicious.
Peppers stuffed with toamtoes, feta and olives
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper cut in half
- 6 cherry tomatoes 3 for each half pepper
- 2 – 3 black olives
- few small chunks of feta
- 1/2 clove of garlic finely sliced
- drizzle of olive oil
- 2 fillets of anchovy to garnish afterwards – optional
- fresh basil leaves to garnish – optional
- Pre heat 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 aside.
- Cut the peppers in half and take out the pith and seeds. Leave 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 with salt and pepper. Fill the cavities as much as you can with the tomatoes, feta and olives. Season again and pour over the olive oil (just under a tablespoon per pepper half). Bake for one hour.
- Once out the oven place 1 anchovy fillets across the top and garnish with fresh basil leaves.
As an alternative to these stuffed peppers, I did a few with a herby Parmesan crumb
- 5 small peppers, cut in half and seeds/pith removed (keep the stems intact)
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup finely chopped herbs (parsley, oregano & basil)
- 50gms Parmesan cheese finely grated (about 1/3 cup)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F.
Mix all of the crumb ingredients except the olive oil and ensure everything is well-distributed. Add the olive oil and mix until it starts clumping together.
Stuff the peppers by spooning the mix into the half shells and pressing down lightly with your fingers to firm up. You can make a little mound.
Bake for 45 – 50 minutes until golden brown and crunchy. Loosely cover the peppers about halfway through the roasting time to prevent over-browning (keep checking).
Serve warm or cold.