Like the aubergine stew Caponata traditional Italian stew of sweet savoury peppers is a bit like a relish. It’s often served as antipasti with assorted cheeses, olives, breads and salad. This recipe reminds me of when I was a child, my Italian aunt Marie used to serve it in a bap, plain with no butter, just olive oil, I thought it was the most delicious thing I’d ever eaten and I still love it. Like a lot of stews, it gets better after a day or two in the fridge. It can be served hot or cold, as an anti-pasti, or with bread, pasta or meat. I love it with Parmesan on toasted sourdough with a sprinkling of shredded basil… do try it.
Serves 4, as a side dish.
500 g red, yellow or orange peppers (I use the wonky cheap ones)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium onion, finely sliced
1 clove of garlic, minced
200 g (half a standard tin) of chopped tomatoes
½ tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the peppers into thin strips, discard the seeds and stalk.
Place the oil in a heavy bottomed pan with a lid and gently fry the onions and garlic for about ten minutes until soft but not brown.
Add the peppers and a pinch of salt, cover, then simmer gently for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and simmer for about thirty minutes, again, stirring occasionally.
It should be a thick stew at the end, not watery.
If it is s bit watery reduce on a slow simmer for a bit longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Delicious hot or at room temperature.
Lastly peppers are packed with vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamin A. They protect the eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts later in life.