Jan’s Baked Peppers

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Last Thursday, my friend Jan was the victim of a hit-and-run, struck down as she walked through a parking lot. With multiple fractures in both legs, she became confined to a wheelchair, abruptly robbed of her independence.

By the weekend, however, she was musing aloud about a salmon recipe to make during her recovery, and coaching me on a recipe for baked red peppers , stuffed with tapenade. They grow them tough in North Dakota… We enjoyed this “contorno”, or side dish, with parmesan chicken. The dish uses simple ingredients and is easily assembled. The credit goes to my treasured and much-loved friend.

Serves 4

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
  • 1 cup pitted California black olives
  • 3 anchovies
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaved parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 3/4 cups dry red wine

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat, using medium-sized skillet. Add the olives and sauté for five minutes.

3. Using a food processor, purée the olives and oil. Now add the anchovies, garlic, capers, parsley and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Purée until smooth.

4. Slice the peppers in half, length-wise, removing stems, seeds and white pith. Place in square baking dish, cut sides up.

5. Distribute sauce evenly over the peppers. Pour a little wine over each pepper and add the rest to the baking dish.

6. Bake for 45 minutes. Serve warm.

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