I started making this roasted pepper dish when I was working at a gourmet food store and catering company in Jacksonville, Florida. We were never sure what to call it and it went by the elegant name ‘Stuff’ for quite some time until I decided it had a similar purpose in life as caponata and I changed the name.
This is my favorite picnic sandwich filling. It’s vegetarian (vegan, even?). It can survive without refrigeration for a while. You know how your sandwiches get squashed when you pack a picnic? This sandwich is supposed to get squashed! How perfect is that? The filling also makes a great topper for crostini or grilled fish, especially a nice steak-y fish like tuna or swordfish. What else do I love about it? It’s cool and refreshing and it tastes like summer.
I make this when I can get good bell peppers and wonderful tomatoes for cheap. Without good tomatoes, it’s pointless, so this is definitely a summertime kind of meal.
- 4 roasted bell peppers (preferably a mixture of red, yellow and/or orange), peeled, seeded and sliced into long strips
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 T capers
- 1/4 c. chopped parsley
- 2 T chopped olives
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Optional: green onion, squeeze of lemon juice (in lieu of salt), fresh basil, Parmesan cheese (unless making vegan filling). You could add chickpeas if you needed some protein.
Roast the bell peppers on a baking sheet in the oven until the skins have blistered. Immediately transfer them to a plastic zip-seal bag to sweat the skins off. Set aside to cool. Once the peppers have cooled, peel and seed them and cut them into long julienne strips.
Mix all of the chopped ingredients in a large bowl. Do not drain – keep any accumulated juices.
To make a sandwich, split the bread, add the pepper filling, wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and weight down for a few hours so the juices soak into the bread.
This filling should keep several days in the refrigerator. I recommend eating any sandwiches the same day they are made.