Peperoni in Graticola
Region: Italy, Sicily
Difficulty: Easy but special equipment needed
Grilling bell peppers of different colors is common in Sicily and Sardinia and makes a very attractive presentation. Their flavor is a natural accompaniment to grilled meats. The charred skin of the peppers is peeled off before serving, leaving the smoky flavor. You don’t have to core or halve the peppers before grilling.
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Preparation Time: 1 hour
2 red bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
2 yellow bell peppers
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill for 15 minutes on high.
2. Place the peppers on the grill and cook, turning, until they have blackened on all sides, 40 to 45 minutes; remove. (Cored and halved peppers will take about the same time.) When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and remove the core and seeds. Cut into strips and arrange attractively on a platter.
3. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, basil, and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the peppers at the last moment and serve.
Variation: For an even more refreshing flavor, replace the basil with an equal quantity of mint, either peppermint or spearmint.