This delightful antipasto style dish is a variation on a Venetian classic. Roasted bell peppers, or capsicums - depending on what part of the English-speaking world you are from - are teamed with sultanas and pine nuts, then braised in good quality olive oil.
In this version I have used muscatels (dried muscat grapes) - simply because they are bigger and juicier, but raisins or sultanas are fine as well. I have also added a splash of good quality wine vinegar to offset the sweetness of the peppers and muscatels.
It is quite easy to make lovely variations on this dish by simply changing some of the ingredients. Capsicums that roast the best tend to be the sweetest; so think red, yellow and orange. The green, purple and black varieties tend to be a tad bitter. However, if you use a mix, such as red, yellow and black, not only will you have a stunning visual effect, but as a nice flavour counterpoint as well. Also try substituting the pine nuts. Sunflower seeds, pistachios and chopped hazelnuts immediately spring to mind.
Serve this dish with some baked ricotta, good Italian bread, a bowl of juicy olives and some chunky red wine and you have the makings of a stylish Italian country lunch.
4 capsicums (bell peppers); red, yellow, orange - or a mixture
1/4 cup (60 ml) good olive oil
1 Tbs (20 ml) red wine vinegar
3 Tbs muscatels (or use sultanas or raisins)
2 Tbs pine nuts
Freshly ground black pepper
Roast and peel the capsicums using the directions in this node. Discard the seeds and membranes from the capsicums and slice the flesh into 1 cm wide strips. Heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan to a low/medium temperature and cook slowly for about 20 minutes. Add the muscatels, pine nuts and vinegar and stir to combine. Continue to cook slowly for another 10 minutes. Add a little water if it becomes dry.
Season with salt and pepper and allow to cool. Serve at room temperature