Anne’s Roasted Pepper and Cheese Gratin
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, for the gratin dish
- 2 red bell peppers and 1 poblano pepper, or 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers
- 10½ ounces fresh goat cheese, thickly sliced
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1½ to 2 cups Sauce Tomate or best-quality store-bought pasta sauce, at room temperature
- 30 Niçoise or brine-cured black olives, pitted
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Garlic Toasts (below), for serving
- Brush a medium gratin dish with the olive oil.
- If you are using fresh peppers, place the peppers directly on a grill. As each side turns puffy and black, turn the peppers with tongs. When the peppers are charred on all sides, transfer them to a large bowl and immediately cover with plastic wrap. The steam will help loosen the skins. Let the peppers sweat until they are cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the peppers to a clean cutting board. Peel off the blackened skin and discard. Halve the peppers and open them flat. Use the blade of a paring knife to remove the seeds, hard seed cluster, stem, and whitish ribs. Slice the cleaned peppers lengthwise into strips about 1 inch wide. Avoid rinsing the home-charred peppers since it dilutes the smoky sweet flavor of the peppers; instead, wipe clean with paper towels. If using jarred peppers, rinse and cut into strips.
- Scatter the roasted red pepper strips and sliced goat cheese slices on the bottom of the prepared gratin dish. Top with a sprinkling of half of the herbs. Spoon over the tomato sauce to coat evenly. Top with the olives and the remaining herbs. Season with black pepper.
- Transfer back to the grill and cook until bubbling and hot, about 5 minutes. Serve with the garlic toasts.
All recipes reprinted from: “Basic to Brilliant, Y’all: 150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Company” (Ten Speed Press, September 2011), written by Virginia Willis.