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Toasted Garlic Breadcrumbs – and making pepperonata

April 6, 2011 | Vegetables

Although I’ve been to cooking school in Italy on more than one occasion and have made this dish at least 3 or 4 times, every time I try it at home, I’m not sure I did it right. I think the Italians use more olive oil – as in LOTS more. The first time I made this back home, I realized you have to really toast the breadcrumbs and add them at the last minute to keep them somewhat crunchy. One thing I know for sure is that this is a low and slow cook, similar to caramelizing onions or mushrooms.When I serve crostini at parties, I’m often left with extras. Because they have been baked with olive oil, I’m afraid they’ll go rancid if left out, so I crush them up into crumbs and freeze them. They happen to make the perfect crumb to use for this recipe. Cook some cloves of garlic in oil for a few minutes (I used the oil left from when I roast large batches of garlic cloves on the stove), then remove the garlic and cook the breadcrumbs in the oil for a few minutes until toasted but not burned. They are perfect to toss with the pepperonata. Serve the pepperonata with grilled meats or as part of a vegetarian feast – it’s really good, despite its simplicity.

I still have room to add people to my cooking trip to Italy this fall – why don’t you join me so we can figure out how to really get the pepperonata right?!

Pepperonata with Toasted Garlic Breadcrumbs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Vegetable
Serves: 8
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 large red peppers, seeded and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 cup toasted garlic breadcrumbs
  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet and add peppers, cook on medium low, uncovered, until peppers are very soft and lightly caramelized. This can take a long time, so allow an hour.
  2. Drain any excess liquid and toss with breadcrumbs right before serving.
Note: I don't add salt because the breadcrumbs seem to add enough seasoning, but taste and adjust for salt if needed.



3 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. I’ve never had pepperonata. Just the sound of slow caramelized peppers sounds so delicious.


  2. […] mint. The last handful of Jimmy Nardello red peppers, another Italian heirloom, became a side of pepperonata with toasted breadcrumbs. A salad of Lacinato kale and farro, tossed with red onion and ricotta salata, rounded out the […]


  3. This dish always reminds me of Silvestro at the Awaiting Table, and I can’t wait to go back!


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