Romano peppers are the long, thin, dark red peppers that are usually sold in twos or threes at supermarkets. They’re sweeter and more luxuriously flavoured than bell peppers, and need no more encouragement than a drizzle of olive oil and a ferociously hot oven to turn them into a pretty satisfactory bit on the side. Here, though, they’re embellished with cherry tomatoes, garlic and fresh thyme, before being sharpened with a dash of vinegar and a few capers.
They are great as a foil to rich, hearty meat dishes, whether that’s a roast joint of beef or spicy lamb stew, and also as a way to liven up more subtle things like herb-crusted fish fillets, grilled halloumi or baked mushroom
- Yield: 6 Servings
- 6 Romano peppers
- 8 sprigs thyme leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 24 cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons capers, roughly chopped
- 5 flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7. Cut the peppers in half lengthways and trim out the seeds. You could cut the stems off too, but there’s no pressing need to do so. Put the halves on a baking or a shallow roasting tray, cut-side up; ideally, the peppers will fit snugly in one layer. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper and scatter the thyme leaves over each half, along with the slices of garlic. Drizzle with the oil, then place 2 cherry tomatoes in each pepper half.
- Roast in the top half of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the peppers have shrunk a little, are soft, sweet and charring at the edges and the tomatoes have blistered. Keep an eye on them, though, and remove them before they dry out. Add a drop or two of red wine vinegar to each pepper and sprinkle with capers and parsley (more olive oil wouldn’t hurt). Serve immediately.