Trio of roasted capsicums with garlic and anchovy paste

Roasted capsicums

A gondola on the Murray, 220pp.
by Stefano de Pieri
ABC Books, Australia, 2001
Cooking on page 32

Australia’s free telephone counselling service, Lifeline, has a fund-raising book fair a couple of times every year. It’s spread over three days and I try to go twice—Friday to purchase the must-haves and then again on Sunday afternoon when a shopping bag of books goes for $20.

I saw this book on Friday (for $8). I liked the look of the recipe on page 32 and hoped the book would still be around on Sunday. It wasn’t in the must-have category simply because I knew I could check it out from the library. After all, de Pieri is a famous Aussie chef and this book accompanies a television series on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

This isn’t the first page-32 recipe by de Pieri that I’ve made. We loved the beef cheeks on a celeriac puree. We loved this too.

Roasted capsicums on toast

Trio of roasted capsicums with garlic and anchovy paste (Peperoni arrostiti a più colori)

3 red capsicums (bell peppers)
3 green capsicums (bell peppers)
3 yellow capsicums (bell peppers)
slices of Italian-style crusty bread, or slices from a breadstick
1 clove of garlic
olive oil
12 anchovy fillets
1/2 cup parsley, basil or mint, finely chopped

Three capsicums Roasted capsicums Capsicum strips Mashed anchovies

Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

Wipe the capsicums clean and place them on a baking tray in the oven. When the skins are blistered on one side turn them to ensure even cooking. Do not overcook or the flesh will be mushy.

Remove from the oven and when cool peel, remove seeds and cut the flesh into strips.

Grill the bread on both sides, rub with garlic and drizzle over some olive oil.

Place capsicum on an attractive platter with the bread.

Place anchovies and garlic in a food processor and with the motor running, pour in as much oil as necessary to obtain a spreadable paste. After spreading the paste on the bread, sprinkle with parsley, basil or mint.

Serves 4 (with some leftovers)

How it played out
I made a third of a batch to serve with some of my homemade sourdough rye bread.

Even though the recipe didn’t suggest it, I popped the capsicums in a plastic bag to sweat for 15 minutes before peeling them. No idea why, but I almost resorted to dynamite to get the skin off the red one.

Because I was using only 4 anchovies, I decided not to dirty the food processor. So I chopped the anchovies finely, crushed a clove of garlic and mashed in about a teaspoon of olive oil.

Followed the rest of the instructions and two of us enjoyed this as an afternoon treat.

A gondola on the Murray

There were a lot of leftover veggies, so I mixed up another batch of anchovies, garlic and oil, and stirred it through the remaining capsicum strips. Brilliant idea that created a great side dish for dinner.

I love roasted capsicums and I especially loved the addition of anchovies. Had never used them with capsicums before.

This would be a great addition to any antipasto platter and they made a darn fine side dish for dinner.

If you love these flavours, you’ll love this dish. And let me know if you want the recipe for the sourdough rye bread.

P.S. And be sure to check out my travel blog. You never know where I might be.


About leggypeggy

Intrepid overland traveller, keen photographer, avid cook—known to jump out of airplanes and do other silly things. Do not act my age.
This entry was posted in Appetiser, Bread, Fish and seafood, Light meal, Snack, Vegetable and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Trio of roasted capsicums with garlic and anchovy paste

  1. Rhonda says:

    I missed out on getting to Canberra for the Book Fair this time 😦
    Must Try Harder to get there next time. Anyway, these sound delicious, although there may be too many anchovies in it for the bloke that lives here. I’ll try it anyway- I’m sure I could easily eat it all myself. I looove anchovies!

  2. Sharon says:

    I was very good this year and resisted the temptation to go to the book fair! I love books so these fairs are very dangerous for me. In fact, another bibliophile and I made a promise to one other that neither of us would go this time. Very tough!

    I love roasted capsicums so might just give this one a try!

    • leggypeggy says:

      You showed great restraint. But I’ll tempt you again. I’m getting rid of some books. What kinds of books do you like most? Oh, and the capsicums are delish!

  3. MyKabulKitchen says:

    This looks like a delicious and beautiful appetizer with all the colors, I saw that bag trick on a cooking show, apparently it helps with the peeling so you intuition was spot on. I never knew bell-peppers were called capsicums, so initially I was worried this was some exotic ingredient but this is easy to replicate at home especially for a bbq. Thanks 🙂

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