Ellie Bouhadana's Traditional Italian Pepperonata
Welcome to Put on a Spread, a recipe series that takes you inside the kitchens – and dining rooms – of some of our favorite home cooks. For this instalment, Melbourne-based chef Ellie Bouhadana shares her recipe for a traditional Italian dish, pepperonata.
Originating in the south of Italy, pepperonata is a delightfully tangy yet sweet dish of sliced peppers. Typically served with bread and other marinated delights, or as a delicious pasta topping, this summertime snack is the perfect addition to any alfresco lunch spread.
Making this comfort side dish is incredibly simple and sees charred and peeled peppers marinated in an oil, vinegar, parsley, and garlic concoction. The result? Tender peppers that add a wonderful pop of flavor to pretty much anything and everything.
And don't forget, the fresher the ingredients, the tastier the pepperonata!
- 6 red bullhorn peppers
- 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 2 tbsp champagne vinegar
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
- A handful of parsley, chopped
- A few pieces of of mint, chopped
- A few sprigs of fresh oregano, washed
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Flakey salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
Place the peppers directly on an open flame (either on a stove or an outdoor fire) and let them roast. They will turn black and charred.
Rotate them every now and then to make sure every part of the pepper is exposed to the heat and chars nicely. Depending on their size, this should take between 5-10 minutes.
Once charred, put the peppers in a bowl and cover them with a large plate so that no air can escape - this allows them to steam and get soft enough to pull apart.
When they have cooled down, working with one pepper at a time carefully peel off the charred skin and discard.
Remove the head and inside of the pepper as well and discard the seeds and juice.
Repeat this for all the peppers until they are clean and red again. A little leftover char may stick to the pepper, that is fine and will add flavor.
Slice the peppers into rough strips and place them in a clean bowl.
To make the pepper marinade, whisk together the garlic, vinegars, parsley, a big sprinkling of flakey salt, a nice pinch of pepper and a decent amount of olive oil (around 1 cup) until emulsified.
Taste and adjust the seasoning by adding more salt and olive oil if needed. It should taste strong and acidic.
Pour the marinade over the peppers and let marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
To serve, mix the peppers together with the mint and arrange roughly on a platter topped with the oregano and an extra drizzle of olive oil.
Enjoy this together with fresh bread, cheese and marinated things such as olives.
Tip: As long as they are covered in olive oil, you can keep these peppers stored in the fridge for a week, sometimes longer.
For more from Ellie, follow her at @ellies.table