We all have our “safe” favorites dishes – the recipes we keep up our sleeve that we can knee-jerk back to when in doubt – knowing that it will always turn out perfectly. This dish has been up my sleeve for many years now and it never fails to delight dinner guests. I only wish I could make it year round, but since I refuse to use non-organic bell peppers (the are one of the veggies on the “Dirty Dozen” list,) organic peppers are only available & affordable right now in August.
I wasn’t having a dinner party – I’m actually out of the dinner party groove right now – dunno why, but I am. Perhaps it’s because it’s the last 2 weeks of Summer vacation and everyone’s all over the place. Anyway, I made these for dinner for my husband and I. I served them with a spinach, goat cheese & hazelnut salad (a favorite combo,) and a warm ciabatta loaf (which is mandatory with this recipe to soak up all the good juices).
I’m not always fussy about ingredients, but when it comes to olive oil and tomatoes I am. For this recipe, I recommend using the best olive oil you can lay your mitts on. The tomatoes aren’t so important, as you’re going to be roasting them and you can roast a below average tomato and make it pretty delicious.
The recipe includes anchovies only for those who love them. I’m a great fan because I’m a salty girl through and through, but my husband begged me not to put them near his! So custom make them for the family.
Roasted Tuscan Peppers
2 large organic bell peppers
8-10 cherry tomatoes
8tbsp (approx) good olive oil
8 Kalamata olives
Sea Salt and Pepper
1 bunch of fresh basil leaves
1 small tin of anchovies (You’ll only be using half the tin, so perhaps make a Ceasar dressing with the rest.)
Pre-heat oven to 400 F
Carefully half the peppers lengthwise. Do not take the stalk off, but carefully slice through it. It looks pretty to keep it on. Carefully de-seed the peppers and place them in a deep baking dish.
Pop two cherry tomatoes, 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 2 olives, 2 basil leaves inside each pepper half. Season with salt and pepper and add the anchovies if using.
Place in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check after 45 minutes – the edges of the peppers should be beginning to turn black and the actual body of the pepper should be slightly withered.
Allow to cool and serve at room temperature. You can cover them and chill overnight but make sure you leave them out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving as the flavors come out at room temperature. Garnish with a couple of leaves of fresh basil.