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THE CONFIDENT COOK

Recipe: A Spanish chef’s zorongollo, roasted peppers and tomatoes, is divine with anchovies on toast

Zorongollo (Spanish Roasted Peppers and Tomatoes).Sheryl Julian

Serves 6

Spain-born London chef Jose Pizarro, author of the new book "The Spanish Home Kitchen," writes that he began his career in Caceres, in western Spain, where he had to peel roasted peppers for zorongollo while he longed to do more ambitious tasks. "You must learn from the bottom, so get peeling," the chef told him. The best taste, he writes, comes from bell peppers and tomatoes cooked over a charcoal fire, but gives instructions for roasting them in a hot oven. You can also cook the vegetables under the broiler, but you'll have to watch them carefully and turn them often. When they're all tender and blistered, transfer them to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let them sit until they're no longer hot. Then peel them, cut into strips, toss with red onion, thyme leaves, and sherry vinegar, and refrigerate overnight. Serve it on toasts; slice a baguette so each person gets three toasts or toast six larger slices of bread. Anchovies are divine as a garnish, along with sliced hard-cooked eggs, capers, and more fresh thyme.

3large red bell peppers
2large tomatoes
3cloves garlic, skins left on
Olive oil (for sprinkling)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
½small red onion, thinly sliced
2sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
2tablespoons sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
3 eggs
18slices French bread or 6 large slices crusty bread, toasted
12 anchovy fillets, or more if making smaller toasts
1tablespoon capers
Extra sprigs of fresh thyme (for garnish)

1. Set the oven at 425 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

2. Set the whole peppers, whole tomatoes, and unpeeled garlic on the baking sheet and sprinkle with oil, salt, and black pepper. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the peppers have collapsed and the tomatoes have softened.

3. Transfer all the roasted vegetables to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave until cool enough to handle.

4. Remove all the skins from the peppers and discard the seeds and cores. Cut them into thick strips. Transfer to a bowl.

5. Remove the skins from the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes into strips, reserving the juices. Transfer to another bowl. Peel off the garlic skins and add to the tomatoes. Mash with a fork or potato masher. Transfer to the bowl of peppers. Add the onion, thyme leaves, and sherry vinegar. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

6. Bring a saucepan to a boil. Lower in the eggs and cook for 10 minutes exactly. Lift the eggs out and transfer to a bowl of cold water. With the back of a spoon, crack the shells all over. Peel off a strip of shell from each egg. Let the eggs sit in the cold water (refresh it if it gets warm) until cool. Peel off the rest of the shells. Pat the eggs dry and slice them.

7. Set the large toasts on each of 6 plates or set 3 small toasts on each of 6 plates. Add the pepper mixture. Garnish with eggs, torn anchovies, and capers. Sprinkle with olive oil and thyme leaves.

Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Spanish Home Kitchen"

Serves 6

Spain-born London chef Jose Pizarro, author of the new book "The Spanish Home Kitchen," writes that he began his career in Caceres, in western Spain, where he had to peel roasted peppers for zorongollo while he longed to do more ambitious tasks. "You must learn from the bottom, so get peeling," the chef told him. The best taste, he writes, comes from bell peppers and tomatoes cooked over a charcoal fire, but gives instructions for roasting them in a hot oven. You can also cook the vegetables under the broiler, but you'll have to watch them carefully and turn them often. When they're all tender and blistered, transfer them to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let them sit until they're no longer hot. Then peel them, cut into strips, toss with red onion, thyme leaves, and sherry vinegar, and refrigerate overnight. Serve it on toasts; slice a baguette so each person gets three toasts or toast six larger slices of bread. Anchovies are divine as a garnish, along with sliced hard-cooked eggs, capers, and more fresh thyme.

3large red bell peppers
2large tomatoes
3cloves garlic, skins left on
Olive oil (for sprinkling)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
½small red onion, thinly sliced
2sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
2tablespoons sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
3 eggs
18slices French bread or 6 large slices crusty bread, toasted
12 anchovy fillets, or more if making smaller toasts
1tablespoon capers
Extra sprigs of fresh thyme (for garnish)

1. Set the oven at 425 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

2. Set the whole peppers, whole tomatoes, and unpeeled garlic on the baking sheet and sprinkle with oil, salt, and black pepper. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the peppers have collapsed and the tomatoes have softened.

3. Transfer all the roasted vegetables to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave until cool enough to handle.

4. Remove all the skins from the peppers and discard the seeds and cores. Cut them into thick strips. Transfer to a bowl.

5. Remove the skins from the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes into strips, reserving the juices. Transfer to another bowl. Peel off the garlic skins and add to the tomatoes. Mash with a fork or potato masher. Transfer to the bowl of peppers. Add the onion, thyme leaves, and sherry vinegar. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

6. Bring a saucepan to a boil. Lower in the eggs and cook for 10 minutes exactly. Lift the eggs out and transfer to a bowl of cold water. With the back of a spoon, crack the shells all over. Peel off a strip of shell from each egg. Let the eggs sit in the cold water (refresh it if it gets warm) until cool. Peel off the rest of the shells. Pat the eggs dry and slice them.

7. Set the large toasts on each of 6 plates or set 3 small toasts on each of 6 plates. Add the pepper mixture. Garnish with eggs, torn anchovies, and capers. Sprinkle with olive oil and thyme leaves.Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Spanish Home Kitchen"


Sheryl Julian can be reached at sheryl.julian@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @sheryljulian.