In this fabulous Italian spread, peperonata is like caponata, but no eggplant.


by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

I have seen a number of recipes for this that didn’t interest me at all. Those were really more chunky,  like a stew. But when reading about the cooking styles of chefs of the Pacific Northwest, I came across a recipe by Tom Douglas that was quite different.
Rather than being like a stew, his was quite thick, like a pepper-filled caponata that was really to be served more like a tapenade. I was intrigued.
So I set about to make something like it, and of course, each cook has their own differences and preferences. So rather than this being like his recipe, it is really more inspired by it. Following the same general road map but making different twists and turns. Vastly different quantities of this and that, and some totally different items altogether, like the Asiago cheese.
When I cook, I tend to taste as I go, and as well, to use the quantities of ingredients I have, so that waste is minimized and the flavor goes where I want it.
I am sure Chef Douglas’ recipe is quite nice made as is, and you can find a version of that in Fine Cooking magazine, issue 67.
Make that one if you want. I don’t care. As long as you are happy with how you want to go about it, but do try some version of this. It’s quite wonderful.


  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


  • 1 pound peppers, seeded and chopped (hungarian, anaheim, banana, cubanelle, etc.)(I chose several different colors for depth of flavor as different colors even of the same kind of pepper taste different)
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 ounces chopped white mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted garlic
  • 1/3 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup chopped pitted Sicilian olives
  • 1/4 cup small capers
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Asiago cheese


  1. Cook peppers, onions, and mushrooms in olive oil until soft.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients except vinegar, parsley and Asiago cheese and cook until thick and almost pasty.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar, parsley and cheese.
  4. Serve warm or chilled on bread or crackers.

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