Vegan. After mastering homemade fresh breadcrumbs, this is a must-make appetizer. It can be prepared up to four hours ahead, so make it first as you get ready for your next dinner party. When guests arrived, they’ll be greeted with a colorful snack and you’ll have had ample time to finish the other cooking.
- 6 bell peppers (a mix of red, orange, and yellow)
- 9 T olive oil
- Sea or kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- 3/4 C packed parsley leaves
- 3/4 C packed basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 C coarse fresh bread crumbs (such as sourdough)
- 1 t dried oregano (or 1 1/2 T fresh leaves)
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 (F). Line a rimmed half sheet pan with foil. Quarter peppers lengthwise and remove stem, seeds, and white membranes. In a large mixing bowl, toss peppers with 3 tablespoons oil and plenty of salt and pepper, then arrange in a single layer, skin side up on the baking sheet. Cover tightly with more foil, then bake about 40 minutes, or until very tender. Remove from oven carefully, as hot liquid might have accumulated.
- Meanwhile, combine parsley, basil, garlic, and 4 tablespoons oil in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped (like a pesto). Add breadcrumbs, oregano, and salt and pepper (how much?) and pulse until just combined to avoid pulverizing the breadcrumbs.
- Uncover roasted peppers and turn skin side down (you don’t need to drain any moisture from the tray). Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the crumb mixture onto each pepper, then drizzle 2 tablespoons oil over all. Bake another 45 minutes or until both the breadcrumbs and the skins of the peppers brown deeply. After cooling slightly, transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle with more salt and pepper (and any leftover fresh herbs), and serve warm immediately, or up to 4 hours later, alongside fresh lemon wedges.
Adapted from The River Café Classic Italian Cookbook via Bon Appetit, August 2012.
Next time I make these, I plan to mix a little smoked paprika into the breadcrumb mixture to play up the sweet and smoky peppers even more! Give it a try if you have some.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: Italian