Sunday, September 5, 2010

Peperoni Arrostiti all'Acciughe (Roast Peppers with Anchovies)

Okay, so major fail on my part on the whole "I'm gonna post more often this summer" thing. Turns out my summer didn't have as much free time as I thought it would, and I kept forgetting to take pictures when I cooked. But as a nice break from studying bacteria, viruses, and parasites (second year has started off at a grueling pace), I thought I'd post this recipe, because it's really easy and delicious.

I have to say that fall is my favorite season because I have a thing for squash, cold air, fire-colored trees, and the smell of wood smoke. I also associate fall with beginnings - it's the start of the academic year, and I'm always doing really cool (read "disgusting") stuff and haven't gotten burnt out with it yet. That being said, the produce at the end of summer is without parallel. Cherry tomatoes, summer squash, berries of various sorts, etc. etc.

This recipe is the perfect thing for an end-of-summer antipasto, or, if you choose to add the fish, main course for those who don't have a whole lot of time on their hands. The peppers can be used for any number of things, and are light-years better than the canned roasted peppers you can get at the grocery store.

Peperoni Arrosititi (all'Acciughe)

(Adapted from The Wednesday Chef)

4 bell peppers (red, yellow, and orange only - green peppers are worthless)
1/3 cup sliced, pitted olives
1-2 tbsp capers
1 generous pinch salt
A few anchovies (these are completely optional - I used sardines because I like them better, but you don't have to add the fish at all if you don't want to)
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
A small handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley

Let me start by saying that this recipe is really flexible, and that I didn't actually use any measurements. I just sort of eyeballed the thing and guessed as to how much it probably was. Adjust to your taste.

To roast the peppers, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the washed peppers on a foil-lined baking pan and let bake for an hour. Use their stems to turn them every 20 minutes; they should brown/blacken a little on the downward-facing sides. Opening the oven to do this will release the heady aroma of roasting peppers and make your mouth water.

When the peppers are done roasting, let them cool for 20 minutes or so because the juice inside will be roughly the same temperature as lava. Once they've cooled, proceed to remove the skin and seeds. I thought this part would be a huge chore, but it turns out that they just slide right out of their skins, and most of the seeds leave with the stems. This will be messy, so do it in something with raised edges. I used aluminum foil on top of my cutting board. Slice the peppers into strips and place in a bowl. Toss gently with the rest of the ingredients and let sit for an hour so that the flavors can blend.

Serve with/on crusty bread.

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