as a former vegetarian i’m always slightly wary of peppers as i’ve eaten many a mediocre stuffed vegetable, and usually the offending item was a pepper.
however, a summery lunch for friends, when i’d already got a platter of italian meats and salamis lined up along with my pea and bean salad with almonds and feta meant i needed to find another light vegetable dish to balance everything.
these piedmont stuffed peppers were a good addition – they tasted fabulous and have made me reassess my old prejudices, particularly given how delicious the one leftover pepper was on some toasted ciabatta for breakfast the next morning…
piedmont peppers (serves 6 as a side dish, or a starter)
6 red peppers
10 ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons black olives, chopped (traditionally, the saltiness would be provided by anchovies)
1 tablespoon chopped basil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
50ml olive oil plus extra
freshly ground black pepper
pre heat the oven to 180c.
halve the peppers, keeping the stem intact and removing the core, seeds and pith. lay the peppers in a single layer on a greased roasting tray.
blanch the tomatoes, remove the skin and seeds and chop roughly. place them in a bowl and mix with the anchovies, basil, garlic and olive oil. season to taste with the black pepper – the olives should add enough saltiness.
divide the tomato mixture between the peppers. drizzle them with olive oil and cook for c1hour.
remove and allow to cool. these are best served at room temperature with plenty of bread to mop up the juices from the pan which should be spooned over the peppers when they are served.