Playing Rachael's Sicilian-Style Roasted Peppers and Eggplant

Eggplant-stuffed peppers make the most of both vegetables. 

  • 1 large to 2 medium eggplant
  • Salt
  • 6 large Italian red frying peppers or field peppers (large peppers similar to bell peppers but more rectangular in shape)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus 2 tablespoons
  • 5 to 6 flat anchovy fillets
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Calabrian chili paste or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried chili flakes
  • 3 tablespoons capers in brine, drained
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) dried oregano
  • A handful basil leaves, torn
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) diced ricotta salata
  • 1 cup large homemade breadcrumbs, toasted, or panko
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Peel half the skin from the eggplant and cut into bite-size pieces. Salt and drain on kitchen towels for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Char the peppers under a hot broiler or over an open flame on a gas stovetop. Place charred peppers in a bowl and cover until cool. Peel peppers, then make a slit lengthwise down one side to carefully remove seeds and ribs.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with EVOO, 4 turns of the pan. Add anchovies and melt them into the oil; add eggplant and cook to light golden, 7-8 minutes. Add garlic, chili paste or flakes, and capers, toss 2 minutes more, then add tomatoes and oregano and toss another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temp. Add the basil and ricotta salata.

Fill peppers with the eggplant mixture, mounding them up a bit. Arrange in a casserole dish.

Combine breadcrumbs, grated cheese and parsley in a small bowl. Moisten with 2 tablespoons EVOO. Top peppers with breadcrumbs then transfer to oven. Cook 20-30 minutes and serve.

Sicilian Roast Stuffed Eggplant