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.
Deborah Mele 2013
Roasted Peppers Gratin With Olives
- 6 Red Bell Peppers
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Finely Minced
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
- 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
- Preheat broiler and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Cut off the core end of each of the peppers, remove seeds and membranes, and cut into two inch slices lengthwise.
- Place the pepper strips skin side up on the baking sheet.
- Broil the peppers until they are very blistered and blackened, then place the strips in a sealed Ziploc bag and let sit 15 minutes.
- Use a knife to strip the skin off the peppers and cut each strip in half.
- Place the strips in a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish and toss with the olive oil, garlic, salt, and peppers.
- Arrange the peppers over the bottom of the casserole dish to cover, then scatter the olives and capers on top.
- In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper.
- Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and mix with your fingertips.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the peppers, then drizzle the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the top.
- Broil until the crumbs are golden brown then allow the peppers to cool to room temperature.