The history of this recipe is as colourful as the dish itself. A simple yet stunning combination of peppers, tomatoes, garlic, basil, anchovies, olive oil and red wine vinegar.
It was first discovered by Elizabeth David in 1954, described perfectly in her book ‘Italian Food’. The story goes, the Italian chef Franco Taruschio at the famous Walnut Tree Inn, near Abergavenny, cooked it there. Simon Hopkinson visited and swiftly put it on his opening menu at the iconic London restaurant in 1987, Bibendum.
Get on to L’emporio‘s website for their Aceto di Vino Rossi – it’s the best red wine vinegar out there and takes this dish to the next level.
- 2-3 Piedmontese peppers
- 2-3 plum tomatoes
- 1-2 new season garlic cloves
- Handful of basil leaves
- 12 anchovy fillets
- Handful of baby rocket leaves
- Burrata di bufala
- Generous glug of extra virgin olive oil
- Glug of red wine vinegar
MISE EN PLACE
- Halve each pepper and carefully cut away the white pith and shake out the seeds but try and leave the green stem intact – aesthetics only.
- Slice the new season garlic into thin strips.
- De-skin the tomatoes: score an X on the bottom of tomatoes and blanch in boiling water for 10 seconds, then plunge into cold water for a few seconds. Peel back the tomatoes skins from the X and cut in half.
- Brush the tomato halves with olive oil.
- Heat the oven to 220°c.
- Season the insides of the peppers with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Put a few slices of garlic in each halve and tuck in a few leaves of basil and an anchovy fillet.
- Season each pepper halve with a little more salt and pepper and transfer to a baking tray.
- Dribble olive oil quite generously over each pepper halve, then a glug of red wine vinegar and then roast in the oven at 220°c for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 180°c and roast the peppers for another 30 minutes or so or until the peppers are tender, collapsing and gently charring at the edges.
- Turn the oven back up to 220°c.
- Add half a tomato in to each pepper half and season. Roast again for 6-8 minutes.
- Allow the peppers to cool in the tin for a good long while while before carefully transferring to a serving plate, being careful to catch and precious juices and spoon them over the peppers
- Add the anchovies, draping them over about 30mins before serving.
- Transfer to a platter, scattering more basil, baby rocket leaves and a quarter of burrata on each pepper.
- Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar over the burrata, finishing with milled black pepper.
BATTERIE DE CUISINE
- Cooking pot
- Wooden spoon
- Chopping board
- Serving vessel
- Pepper mill
- Tea towel