Peperonata: A Summer Pantry Staple

What You'll Need

  • good kitchen knife and clean cutting surface
  • large dutch oven or heavy bottomed deep skillet
  • measuring spoons
  • jar for storage in the refrigerator
  • 4 pounds mixed peppers, mostly sweet, a few hot
  • olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 bunches trimmed scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pound assorted heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs sherry, balsamic, or red wine vinegar
  • 3 sprigs each fresh thyme and oregano

This recipe comes to us from the new Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables, by Joshua McFadden. we have great memories of making recipes with Joshua a few years back in our yurt kitchen. But for now, we have this peperonata to savor. The recipe makes a large batch, and we’re so glad it does; this is a pantry staple at this time of year. If you’re not familiar with peperonata, this recipe will make you a believer. It’s deceptively simple, and incredibly versatile; it goes on EVERYTHING.

Yes, everything.

Makes about 8 cups, keeps well in the fridge for at least a week,

peperonata recipe ingredients


Core and seed all of the peppers. Cut them into slices, some thick and some thin, for the best texture. Set aside.

Chop the scallions, using all of the white parts and an inch or two of the green. Save the rest of the greens for soup stock, or other uses.
chopped scallions
Chop the tomatoes into large bite-sized chunks.

Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a large pot such as a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook slowly to toast, so it is soft and fragrant- about 5 minutes.
toasted garlic
Add to the pot all of the chopped peppers, half the scallions and the chile flakes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
add peppers to the pot
Cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until the peppers start to relax a bit, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes.
add chopped tomatoes
Cook and stir until the peppers and tomatoes get very soft, about 30 minutes. The tomato pulp should become a nicely thick sauce, and juices will begin to stick to the bottom and sides of the pan; scrape the sides and bottom of the pan so that nothing burns and these delicious reduced juices get incorporated into the mix.

cooking juices
After about 30 minutes, add the cherry tomatoes, the rest of the scallions, the vinegar and the herbs. Keep cooking until the cherry tomatoes burst and their juices thicken also, and the whole mess is thick and savory.
cherry tomatoes
Taste and adjust the salt, black pepper, vinegar, and chile flakes. And of course, add a bit more olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature.
season to taste
Spoon this over EVERYTHING: eggs, polenta, seafood, roasts, tacos, grilled bread…everything. Everything!

serve with crostiniOver to You

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