These vibrantly coloured Piedmontese Roasted Peppers are utterly delicious and easily prepared. They are simple yet stunning, their flavours enhanced by roasting in the oven. Serve them on a large platter, with some crusty bread to mop up the delicious juices; you will be pleased that you did.
Why we love this recipe:
This is a wonderful recipe, full-flavoured with vibrant colour. The roasting of the peppers transforms them, accentuating their natural sweetness.
With the Roasted Peppers, there is little effort for maximum flavour. When a dish is so easily prepared as this one it is truly gratifying that it also tastes delicious.
Extremely versatile, the roasted peppers are perfect for casual dining, dinner parties or alfresco entertaining. They are a lovely accompaniment to roast chicken, a perfect prepare ahead starter or as part of an antipasti spread. This is a healthy recipe which can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the anchovies or vegan by omitting the cheese as well.
Ingredients in this recipe:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
Small red or yellow peppers/capsicums – I generally don’t buy green peppers. Green peppers are harvested before they are completely ripe and I find there is a mildly bitter edge to their flavour.
Cherry tomatoes – are ideal for roasting. The flavour intensifies, enhancing their natural sweetness.
Garlic – I use fresh garlic cloves; the flavour of fresh garlic is superior to the bottled variety.
Basil leaves – the leaves of fresh basil are aromatic and flavoursome. Do not use dried basil, the flavour is totally different.
Kalamata olives – these full-flavoured, fleshy black olives are named after a town in Greece. I prefer to buy the whole olive and remove the stone myself as I think they taste better. However, use a pitted olive if you prefer.
Bocconcini – fresh balls of mozzarella, they come in sizes which range from a cherry to a tennis ball. This is a mild cheese which softens and melts when roasted.
Anchovies – I use the ones packed in oil; they add a burst of umami flavour. Use the best that you can find. There are huge variations in quality so it is better to omit them than to use those which are inferior.
Extra virgin olive oil – use the best quality oil that you can. It is an important part of the Piedmontese Roasted Peppers. The flavours of the peppers and their contents infuse into the oil and it is delicious mopped up with crusty bread.
Sea salt and pepper to taste – if using anchovies, you may not need to add salt. Always use freshly ground black pepper; the flavour is fresher and more vibrant than pre-ground pepper.
Chilli flakes – these are optional. I love chilli so like to add a little spice to the peppers.
Step by Step Instructions:
- To begin, preheat your oven. Wash and dry the peppers and halve lengthways. Remove the core, seeds and white pith.
- Lay the peppers, skin side down, in a shallow baking dish. Divide the cherry tomatoes amongst the peppers. Tuck 3 or 4 slices of garlic in between. Tuck basil leaves and olives between the tomatoes. Cut, or tear the bocconcini into pieces with your hands, and scatter on top.
- Add an anchovy, halved lengthways or chopped if you prefer. Grind some black pepper over the top. If you are using anchovies omit the salt.
- Drizzle over the olive oil. Don’t skimp, it is essential for the wonderful juices. Bake in the oven approximately 35 minutes until they are slightly blackened around the edges but still holding their shape. Transfer the roasted peppers to a serving dish with all the delicious juices poured over. Garnish with a few basil leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Tips for Success and FAQs:
Use red or yellow peppers rather than green. A green pepper is one which is less ripe and lacks the sweet flavour of red and yellow.
As with anything as simple as this dish, a successful outcome is dependent on the use of good quality ingredients.
Use the best quality anchovies that you can find. There is an enormous difference between the best and the every-day. It is better to leave them out than to use those that don’t have great flavour. If you use anchovies, you may not need to add salt.
It is essential that you use good olive oil as the oil is an important part of the dish, to be enjoyed by mopping up with crusty bread. Don’t skimp with the oil, it is delicious.
Yes, you can prepare the peppers a day ahead up to the stage of adding salt, pepper and olive oil. Store them, well covered, in the refrigerator. Season with salt (if using) and freshly ground black pepper and add the olive oil just before roasting.
Feta is an excellent alternative, it complements the Mediterranean ingredients perfectly.
They certainly are. Just cut these into quarters and fill the quarters.
More delicious recipes for you to try:
Love the flavours of the Mediterranean as much as we do? You must try these recipes also:
- Mediterranean Beef Stew
- Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- Roasted Olives
- Dipping Oil
- Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Shells
- Greek-Style Chicken and Salsa
- Roasted Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
- Pumpkin, Ricotta and Sage Pasta Shells
- Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta
- Marinated Tomato Salad
- Baked Feta with Olives and Rosemary
- Eggplant Involtini
I encourage you to try this simple yet stunning recipe. The colours are vibrant, reminiscent of a sunny Mediterranean day, and the flavours complex and delicious.
Arrange the Piedmontese Roasted Peppers on a pretty platter, add a few fresh, aromatic basil leaves and serve either warm or at room temperature accompanied by crusty bread for mopping up the delicious juices. Enjoy!
This post was originally published in October 2018. It has been updated with new photos and more information. The recipe remains the same.
Piedmontese Roasted Peppers
- 4 small red or yellow peppers/capsicums – or a combination See Note 1
- 120 g (4.25 ounces) cherry tomatoes – halved or quartered
- 4 cloves garlic – peeled and thinly sliced
- 12 basil leaves See Note 2
- 16 Kalamata olives – pitted and halved See Note 3
- 4 (about 130 g/4.5 ounces) medium bocconcini – sliced See Note 4
- 4 anchovies – halved lengthways See Note 5
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) extra virgin olive oil See Note 6
- freshly ground black pepper and sea salt – to taste
- chilli/red pepper flakes – optional
- Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees C (355F).
- Halve the peppers lengthways, remove the core, seeds and white pith. Lay the peppers, skin side down, in a shallow baking dish that will comfortably hold them.
- Divide the pieces of cherry tomatoes amongst the peppers. Tuck 3 or 4 slices of garlic between the tomatoes. Tuck basil leaves and olives between the tomatoes.
- Cut, or tear the bocconcini into pieces with your hands, and scatter on top. Use some crumbled feta if you prefer.Add an anchovy, halved lengthways or chopped if you prefer. Grind some black pepper over the top.If you are using anchovies omit or be cautious adding the salt.
- Drizzle over the olive oil. Don’t skimp, it is essential for the wonderful juices. Add some chilli/red pepper flakes if you wish.
- Bake in the oven approximately 35 minutes until they are slightly blackened around the edges but still holding their shape.
- Transfer the cooked peppers to a serving dish, with all the delicious juices poured over, and garnish with a few basil leaves.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- I prefer to use red and yellow peppers for this recipe. Orange works well too if they’re available, and I prefer them to be on the small side. If large they can be cut into quarters but you will need to increase the quantities of the fillings. I generally don’t buy green peppers. Green peppers are harvested before they are completely ripe and I find there is a mildly bitter edge to their flavour.
- I sometimes whiz a handful of basil leaves with some olive oil in a small food processor and drizzle this over in lieu of adding the basil leaves and olive oil separately. Or use some basil pesto if you have some on hand.
- I prefer to buy the whole olive and remove the stone myself as I think they taste better. However, use a pitted olive if you prefer.
- These are balls of fresh mozzarella, available from the supermarket. I have used medium sized bocconcini balls. You could use a large bocconcino ball or use some crumbled feta if you prefer. You could take the dish to new heights by using Buffalo Mozzarella – it’s delicious.
- Use the best quality anchovies that you can find. There are huge variations in quality so it is better to omit them than to use those which are inferior. Simply omit the anchovies to make a vegetarian dish. Use a few sea salt flakes instead.
- It is essential that good quality olive oil is used as you will be mopping up the delicious juices with crusty bread. My preference is extra virgin olive oil for its flavour and health-benefiting qualities.
- Please note, the nutritional information is based on one whole pepper per person. The nutritional information is an estimate only.