As we end summer and move into fall, it’s pepper season. This Peperonata dish is a crowd pleaser because it’s easy to make and the vibrant, fresh flavors will earn you many compliments from the table. Peperonata teams up well with a whole roasted chicken, so it can feed a table full of hungry friends or go into additional meals to feed the family.
We love gypsy peppers for this dish but red, yellow and orange bell peppers work just as well. Stay away from green peppers if you can. The Peperonata are sweet and sour with the vinegar, and fennel offers a backdrop of flavors we find wild in Northern California and all over Europe.
Pairs perfectly with Tansy Pinot Noir.
Recipe adapted from A16 Food & Wine
8 gypsy peppers (2.5 pounds total)
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil plus more when roasting the peppers
2 Tbsp salt-packed capers, soaked (30 minutes in cool water, drained and pat dry)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 red onion (diced – about 1 cup)
1/2 fennel bulb (cored and diced)
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a bowl, toss the peppers with some olive oil and a pinch of salt and arrange on a baking sheet. Roast peppers for 15 minutes. Turn and roast for 15 mins more until they are blistered. Remove from the oven and place in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap so they steam and loosens the skin of the peppers.
Remove the plastic wrap and the skins should easily peel away from the peppers. Tear the peppers into about 1/2 inch wide pieces each.
In a large pot, heat the 1/2 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the capers, frying them for just 1 minute, or until they bloom and become crispy. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in the onion, fennel, chili flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt until the onion and fennel are tender.
Deglaze the pan with vinegar. Stir in the peppers. Cook for a few minutes. Taste and adjust for salt and or vinegar to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature. Or let cool and can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Whole Roast Chicken for Home Dinner
1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
3 sprigs rosemary
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove the chicken giblets, if needed. Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold water.
Generously salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with a bunch of thyme and the rosemary sprigs, lemon and garlic. Brush about 3 Tbsp of olive oil outside of the chicken. Season with salt and pepper on the outside.
Roast the chicken for 70 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.
Remove the chicken and with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the Peperonata.