Peperoni al Gratin
Baked Pepper Casserole
After plain roasted or fried peppers, this is the most popular pepper dish of the region. Every cook I worked with wanted to show me how she or he makes it, which is how I learned that some like lots of crunchy oily bread crumbs on top and some want the bread crumbs to be soft, blended with the peppers, absorbing pepper juices and oil, and melding with the condiments. This recipe tends toward the second idea. If you'd like more crust, before putting the casserole under the broiler, sprinkle the surface with an additional two tablespoons of crumbs and drizzle the crumbs with another two teaspoons of olive oil.
3 pounds sweet red peppers,
roasted, peeled, and cut
into strips 1/2 inch wide
1 or 2 whole salted anchovies,
thoroughly rinsed and filleted
and finely cut, or 2 or 3 oil-packed
anchovy fillets, rinsed and finely cut
6 to 8 Gaeta olives (or other
purple-black olives), pitted and
cut into small pieces (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon salted capers, thoroughly
rinsed and chopped coarsely if large
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
(about 2 rounded teaspoons)
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a shallow baking dish just large enough to hold the peppers (about 2-quart capacity), combine the sliced peppers, anchovies, olives, capers, olive oil, oregano, and garlic. Toss and mix well.
3. Toss again with the bread crumbs.
4. Bake for 20 minutes, then place the dish under the broiler for 5 minutes or until the top crumbs are lightly toasted.
5. Serve warm or at room temperature, as an antipasto or contorno (side dish).
Naples at Table
Cooking in Campania
By Arthur Schwartz
Hardback, $27.50, November 1998
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
This page created July 1999
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