The sweet bell pepper is actually a fruit posing as a vegetable. Grilling or oven-roasting bell peppers caramelizes them, turning them sweet, soft and versatile. This recipe was adapted from a recipe in Marcella Cucina by Marcella Hazan (HarperCollins, 1997).
- 2 small globe eggplants, trimmed and cut into 1⁄2″ cubes
- Kosher salt
- 4 red bell peppers
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 6 anchovy filets, finely chopped
- 6 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tbsp. capers, chopped
- 1⁄8 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
- 4 tbsp. fresh bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Put eggplant in a colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt, then set aside until bitter juices have drained, 30–60 minutes.
- Meanwhile, char skin of peppers over an open flame or under a broiler, transfer to a bowl, and cover until cool. Peel peppers without tearing flesh, then pull off stem and scoop out seeds with your finger, keeping pepper intact for stuffing.
- Preheat oven to 400°. Heat vegetable oil until hot in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Pat eggplant dry with paper towels, then fry in batches until deep golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon.
- Add tomatoes, anchovies, parsley, garlic, capers, oregano, 3 tbsp. of the bread crumbs, and 1 tbsp. of the olive oil to bowl; mix well. Stuff peppers, arrange in a baking dish, sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp. bread crumbs, and drizzle with remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Serve at room temperature.