When we ran a series of make-ahead dinner party recipes from Ina Garten, we loved this colorful appetizer of stuffed peppers. The recipe also fits Ina's philosophy of making a dish ahead: Look for things that would be naturally made ahead and simply baked just before serving.
Ina says, "Roasting brings out the sweetness in bell peppers. This is the kind of dish served at Spanish tapas bars — slices of red and yellow peppers are filled with garlic, green olives, golden raisins, spicy saffron, and bread crumbs. A nice glass of Spanish sherry would be delicious with it."
This was a great way to serve stuffed peppers as an appetizer instead of a main dish. The anchovies add some punch and saltiness that contrast nicely with the sweet roasted peppers. You can also make the filling a day ahead, just make sure to let it come to room temperature and stir it before using.
- Christine, April 2015
Spanish Tapas Peppers
Serves 6 to 8
medium red bell peppers
medium yellow bell peppers
freshly ground black pepper
minced garlic (3 cloves)
chopped green pitted olives (4 to 6 ounces with pits)
oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained and minced (leave out for vegetarian version; see Recipe Note)
large tomato, seeded and diced
1 scant teaspoon
saffron threads, crumbled
coarse fresh bread crumbs from a baguette (crusts removed)
good olive oil
Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Combine the sherry and raisins in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Drain the excess liquid and set the raisins aside.
Meanwhile, cut each pepper in half through the core and remove the ribs and seeds. Cut each half lengthwise into 3 wedges and arrange them cut-side up in a single layer in two large shallow oven-to-table baking dishes. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt.
In a medium bowl, combine the steeped raisins, garlic, olives, anchovies, tomato, saffron, bread crumbs, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Spread about a tablespoon of the mixture on each pepper wedge.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the peppers are tender and the filling is a little crisp on top. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm or at room temperature.
Vegetarian Tapas: Leave out the anchovies. You can add another few tablespoons of chopped green olives, or use a mix of olives for a more well rounded flavor.
Make Ahead: Prepare the peppers with the filling, cover, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Bake before serving.
Reprinted from Make it Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Copyright © 2014 by Ina Garten. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
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