Fratelli Perata Winery
Roasted Red Bell Pepper Appetizer

Every summer Mama would take from her garden large red bell peppers. Our dad, Giuseppe, would roast them over a wood bbq pit until they were blackened and soft. Then he would deliver them to the kitchen where they sat and stripped the burned pepper skins from the meaty peppers. Mama had wide mouth canning jars to put wide strips of pepper in, alternating with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. The filled and covered jars went into the refrigerator to tempt us later.

One use was to simply put the peppers in a serving dish, add a handful of golden raisins and a little more salt. Let that sit until the raisins have plumped some. With a baguette for dipping, the peppers, along with a bottle of Bel’ Bruzzo didn’t last long.

6 red bell peppers
olive oil to cover: about 1/2 c, depending on the size of the peppers
1/4 cup golden raisins or we have also used dried cranberries in these modern times
1/4 cup pine nuts, nice but optional in case you’re out
1 garlic clove, minced
2 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley
salt to taste, pepper if your olive oil is tame

If you don’t have a BBQ, use your broiler. Put washed peppers in proximity to a high heat source. Use tongs to rotate the peppers so all sides are exposed to the heat and will blacken. When completely (well 80%) blackened, put them in a bowl. Some people cover them and let them sit to cool off about 15 minutes, or can put them in a paper bag to steam. We were tough and just went for it: remove the blackened skins and all seeds, all seeds for sure.

The peppers can be sliced along their ribs, lengthwise, or about 1/2 inch wide. Put finished peppers in a clean bowl with the rest of the ingredients and let that sit at room temperature at least 1 hour.

Serve with a crunchy baguette. Bring on the Bel’ Bruzzo.

Note: this doesn’t come across as well with canned red peppers. If you want to try, be sure to really thoroughly drain them.