Gratin Baked Peppers
The delicious aromas will overwhelm you. Dad’s traditional Peperoni al forno can be eaten as a starter or side dish. Incredible with fish or meat. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and is one of the most typical of Apulian delights.
The smell of the peppers roasting will make your stomach rumble. When our dad Michele would make this dish, it would fill the house with such incredible aromas. It is quick and easy but the flavour that comes from these few ingredients is incredible! In Puglia, as well as the wine and olives, we are well known for our love of vegetables. They grow in abundance here and our family makes the most of this.
Quite simply, the peppers are roasted in the oven, peeled and cut into fillets. A very simple traditional dish, drawn directly from the ‘poor people’s’ recipes which is how the people from Puglia were regarded (many years ago). As soon as the peppers would be placed on the table, my brother and sisters would have our crusty bread ready. The bread would be used as an edible tool: Dip the bread into the sauce, add a slither of the pepper then pop it into your mouth – delicious!
4 peppers (yellow and red)
1 clove of garlic, sliced
6 cherry tomatoes (optional)
4 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
8tbsps fresh breadcrumbs
Terre Di San Vito extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preparing the dish:
Wash the peppers.
Cut them into halves, remove the stalks and seeds and place them in an oven dish (with the tomatoes).
Preheat the oven to 200.
In a bowl, mix together the: breadcrumbs, chopped parsley, garlic, grated cheese and capers.
Salt and pepper the peppers then add the breadcrumb mix over the peppers. Try to cover all the peppers.
Drizzle over the top a little extra virgin olive oil.
Add ¼ cup water to the base of the dish then place the peppers into the hot oven.
Cook for about 20-30 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden (not burnt) and the peppers are soft and succulent.
[Pepperoni Gratin is excellent as a hot side dish to fish or meat.
Can be served cool as part of a mixed platter of antipasti.
Try them also with tuna and some capers and you will get an excellent second course, ideal for those who want to taste something typical of Puglia and genuine at the same time.
I usually use two or three times the amount of peppers as they go so quickly in my house!
Can use courgettes, aubergines, tomatoes or fennel for this recipe.
Serve with a bottle of our fabulous Terre Di San Vito Apeneste white wine.