This is a great little appetizer. It’s also a great sandwich topper. I particularly love this simple dish when I’m eating rolled fillets of anchovy with some crusty Italian bread and some really fine red wine, like Layer Cake Shiraz. (Of course I know it’s from Australia, but nobody says your red wine has to be from Italy to enjoy it with good Italian food!)
For this dish, I like using green, red, yellow and orange peppers. It adds intrigue to the flavor, going from the deeper flavor of the green bell pepper all the way up to the sweetness of the yellow.
8 fresh bell peppers (2 each of green, red, yellow and orange)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
Sea salt and coarse-ground black pepper (to taste)
5-6 basil leaves, stems removed and cut in strips (optional)
When it’s warm out, I like roasting the peppers on the grill. However, the weather shouldn’t deter you from making this. My mother made this using her old-fashioned oven.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and roast in the oven, turning so that all sides are partially charred. This takes a good hour to accomplish, turning every 10 minutes or so. The peppers should look wrinkled and collapsed when they are done.
Remove from the oven and place the peppers in a paper bag for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will help loosen the skin so that they can be easily peeled.
When the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the stems and seeds, and peel the skin off.
Tear the peppers into long strips and put in a bowl with garlic slices and olive oil. Season with sea salt and coarse-ground black pepper to taste. Enjoy!