A flavorful stew of cooked peppers and tomatoes, peperonata can be eaten hot or at room temperature as a flavorful side dish or with slices of crusty Italian bread. It’s flavors meld perfectly with a mild hard cheese.
1-2 large onions
8 large bell peppers – red, yellow, orange, green
Optional: spicy chilies (jalapenoes, red fresno chilies, thai chilies, etc)
1 28oz can of chopped tomatoes (preferable unsalted, organic)
1-2 bay leaves
Salt & Pepper
Optional: 1-2 tablespoons sugar and 1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
WHAT TO DO
1. Wash the peppers. Chop them into quarters or large wedges and remove the seeds. Chop the spicy chilies into rounds. Chop onions into half rings about 1/4 inch thick.
2. Heat olive oil in large pot or dutch oven. Add onion slices and cook uncovered over medium heat. Stir only to prevent from burning.
3. Five minutes later, add 1 pepper chopped into quarters.
4. When onion browns (generally, after another 5 minutes) add the rest of the onions and peppers. Cover. Cook until peppers wilt (but don’t brown) and don’t stir too often – this usually takes a good 20-30 minutes. Once there is enough liquid, add the bay leaves.
5. Now uncover, add tomatoes, cook on medium-low heat until wilted and much of the watery liquid evaporates, leaving a slightly thicker, more dense liquid. Generally, this takes about 10-15 minutes. Add salt.
6. In the final 15 minutes of cooking, add chopped parsley, and – if you wish – the sugar and vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings.
7. Enjoy! You can eat hot from the pot, but for best flavor, let it sit for 24 hours (refrigerated) and serve at room temperature as a side dish or on bread with a good hard cheese and a bold red wine!