120gcherry tomatoeshalved if small, quartered if large
4clovesgarlicpeeled and thinly sliced
16Kalamata olivespitted and halved
4medium bocconciniabout 130g, sliced (3)
4anchovieshalved lengthways - use good quality (4)
1/2cupolive oilextra virgin (5)
salt and pepper to taste
chilli flakes - optional
Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees C (350F)
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 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 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 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.
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.