A Lotta Peperonata
This post is from our resident Farm Foodie – Debra Dubief
There is something particularly wonderful about peppers grown in our part of the state. Perhaps it’s that it feels a little sneaky – like we’ve fooled Mother Nature, or maybe because those colorful little lobes were beyond patient awaiting a nice blast of summer heat. Whatever it is, I’ve been on a pepper kick lately that has me grilling and frying them all the time.
Peppers are incredibly good for you and the heirloom varieties that are rolling off the farm right now taste absolutely amazing. My current pepper passion can be found in a tangy bowl of Peperonata. Like most Mediterranean dishes, this one has as many variations as there are cooks; and as with any simple, rustic dish, it’s really, really hard to go wrong here.
Meat eaters will swoon if you serve this in its traditional manner, alongside thick slices of Italian-style grilled steak. But your diners will be just as thrilled to have Peperonata with grilled chicken or tofu, stirred into your grain of choice or scooped in between some toasted baguette and crumbled goat cheese for a quick bruschetta.
It’s not hard to find a delicious Peperonata recipe online, but Suzanne Goin’s recipe (from Sunday Suppers at Lucques) is pretty phenomenal. Her version is bright and piquant – just the way peppers themselves should be. Add some sweet peppers to your next Full Circle box and give Peperonata a shot while you still can.
Very slightly adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin with Teri Gelber.
1 1/2 to 2 lbs sweet peppers
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 T fresh thyme leaves
2 T salt-packed or jarred capers, rinsed and drained
3 T red wine vinegar
2 T fresh oregano leaves, chopped
Coarse salt and fresh black pepper
Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the stems, seeds and membranes. Thinly slice the peppers lengthwise. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Swirl in the olive oil and wait 1 minute. Add the onion, peppers, thyme, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Sauté over high heat for 5 to 6 minutes, tossing often, until the peppers soften. (They should still have a little crunch to them but be tender).
Add the capers and cook another minute. Turn off the heat, add the vinegar and reduce by half. The residual heat should be enough to reduce the vinegar. Use a rubber spatula to scrape all the vinegar over the peppers. Add the oregano and toss well. Taste for seasoning, and serve.