Jammy Pepps with Feta & Basil

SERVES: 4

I have a complicated relationship with bell peppers. When they’re raw, I hate them. But give them enough time, some heat, and even more olive oil and they will eventually become jammy, sweet, and intoxicatingly delicious. These long-cooked peppers are particularly tasty when paired with herbs and a salty cheese, like feta, and eaten as you would a caprese salad.

Active Time: 25 Mins

Total Time: 2 hrs

jammy-pepps-2

Produce

  • 3 ½ pounds mixed color (NOT green!) bell peppers (about 8)
  • 1 red Fresno chile or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 garlic cloves

Pantry

  • Pantry:
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

Dairy

  • 1 (4-ounce) block feta cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

2. Prep the veg:

  • Remove the cores of 3 ½ pounds of bell peppers by cutting off 4 lobes on each, leaving behind the cores, stems, and seeds.
  • Cut each lobe into roughly 1 ½-inch-thick strips.
  • Thinly slice 1 Fresno chile crosswise.
  • Firmly smash and peel 8 garlic cloves.

3. Cook the peppers:

  • Heat ½ cup olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. It sounds like too much oil, but there are a lot of peppers, and the juices they release are going to mingle with all that olive oil and create a super-luxurious sauce.
  • Add the bell peppers, Fresno chile, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar and stir and toss with tongs to combine. Cook until some of the peppers begin to soften a bit and turn golden brown in a few spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup red wine vinegar.
  • Partially cover the pot and transfer it to the oven. Cook, stirring the peppers a couple of times throughout to move things around and encourage even cooking, until the peppers are very soft and jammy, 45 to 60 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and cook until the peppers have caramelized in some spots and the liquid has reduced slightly, 30 to 45 minutes longer. Let cool slightly, then taste and add more vinegar, salt, or sugar as needed until the peppers taste outrageously good.

4. Serve:

  • Slice the feta into ¼-inch-thick planks.
  • Spoon the peppers onto a rimmed serving platter along with some of those juices. Break the planks of feta into pieces and scatter them over top. Tear ½ cup basil leaves and scatter over top.

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