Tucked between Calabria and Puglia, Basilicata provides some of the most delicious recipes from all Italy. Peppers with Almonds shows the influence of the region’s exceptional agriculture.
- 1/3 Cup dark raisins (2 ounces)
- 3 medium red bell peppers (about 1 1/4 pounds) quartered and deribbed
- 2 medium green bell peppers (about 3/4 pound) quartered and deribbed
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 Cup slivered almonds (1 1/2 ounces)
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a small bowl, soak the raisins in warm water for 20 minutes; drain and set aside.
- If you want to peel the peppers, cut the quartered peppers in half lengthwise and flatten slightly. Peel the pieces with a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler, then cut them lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips. Alternatively, slice unpeeled peppers into 1/4-inch strips.
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the raisins and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the peppers, sugar, vinegar and salt. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- Uncover and continue to cook until the peppers are very tender and slightly glazed, 10 to 15 minutes longer. If the peppers begin to stick to the pan, add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of warm water.
- Serve at room temperature.
This delicious and unusual pepper dish is from Basilicata in the instep of the Italian boot. It is wonderful with grilled meat, especially Italian sausages.
Peeling the peppers without roasting them first makes them particularly succulent, but peeling isn't mandatory. The dish is delicious either way.