Roasted Pepper Gratin With Olives

I am a huge fan of roasted peppers, and love using them in my pasta recipes, or in many of the appetizer recipes I make for our farmhouse guests in Umbria. It is very common in Italy to see a variety of roasted vegetables topped simply with a seasoned breadcrumb mixture on antipasti tables. These vegetables become sweeter as the roasting caramelizes the natural sugars, and the addition of the crumb topping adds a nice crunchy texture. I bought a big bag of red peppers at our local discount store recently and decided to create a gratin dish with them. After roasting the peppers, I peeled off the skins, cut them into slices, and tossed them with seasoned olive oil. I placed the pepper strips in a casserole dish, then topped them with a chopped olive mixture and seasoned breadcrumbs. After a few minutes under the broiler the peppers are finished and you have a great side dish or option for antipasti table.

I used a mix of green and black olives, but you could use one or the other, just ensure they are full flavored olives. Although I used all red peppers, you could also mix it up and include orange and yellow peppers as well. These peppers turned out so tasty, I could enjoy them all by themselves along with a spoonful of creamy goat cheese and a slice or two of crusty Italian bread.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2013

Roasted Peppers Gratin With Olives

Ingredients:

  • 6 Red Bell Peppers
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Finely Minced
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Topping:

  • 1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Pitted Olives
  • 2 Tablespoons Capers, Chopped
  • 1 1/2 Cups Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 6 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat broiler and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Cut off the core end of each of the peppers, remove seeds and membranes, and cut into two inch slices lengthwise.
  3. Place the pepper strips skin side up on the baking sheet.
  4. Broil the peppers until they are very blistered and blackened, then place the strips in a sealed Ziploc bag and let sit 15 minutes.
  5. Use a knife to strip the skin off the peppers and cut each strip in half.
  6. Place the strips in a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish and toss with the olive oil, garlic, salt, and peppers.
  7. Arrange the peppers over the bottom of the casserole dish to cover, then scatter the olives and capers on top.
  8. In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper.
  9. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and mix with your fingertips.
  10. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the peppers, then drizzle the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the top.
  11. Broil until the crumbs are golden brown then allow the peppers to cool to room temperature.