A few months ago, my parents described in great delicious detail a red bell pepper dish with anchovies and garlic they had made from the Canal House: Pronto cookbook, by Christopher Hirscheimer and Melissa Hamilton, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Ever since then, I've made dozens of variations. This recipe is adapted from theirs. I have just (surprise, surprise) ramped up the anchovy situation. And I add goat cheese and chopped arugula at the end. It's fabulous on grilled bread. And last night I chopped up the leftovers (with scissors, right in the dish) and tossed it all up with some penne. The peppers and cheese also work beautifully draped over a salad. —Phyllis Grant
red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut lengthwise into eighths
anchovy fillets, packed in oil
extra-virgin olive oil
cloves garlic, peeled and sliced lengthwise as thinly as possible
Place peppers skin side-down in a baking dish. I like to snuggle them up nice and tight. Place one anchovy fillet in the belly of each red pepper slice. Evenly distribute the butter, olive oil, and garlic between the slices.
Cover with tin foil. Roast until peppers are starting to soften (about 25 minutes). Agitate the pan a bit to make sure all the slices are evenly coated with oil and not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove tin foil and cook for another 15 minutes or so until everything starts to brown. You want the peppers tender but not falling apart. This can take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour. Just be vigilant and don't let anything burn. It's fine to turn down the temp or place the tin foil back on.
Slice chilled goat cheese into about 8 discs. If they fall apart, just pat them back together like clay. Place on top of cooked peppers. Bake until goat cheese is warm all the way through, about 5 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped arugula. Serve on grilled bread.
Phyllis Grant is an IACP finalist for Personal Essays/Memoir Writing and a three-time Saveur Food Blog Awards finalist for her blog, Dash and Bella. Her essays and recipes have been published in a dozen anthologies and cookbooks including Best Food Writing 2015 and 2016. Her work has been featured both in print and online for various outlets, including Oprah, The New York Times, Food52, Saveur, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tasting Table and Salon. Her memoir with recipes, Everything Is Out of Control, is coming out April 2020 from Farrar Straus & Giroux. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two children.