Recipe: Marco Canora’s Sweet Pepper Peperonata

(Photo: A Good Food Day)
Sweet Pepper Peperonata
(Photo: A Good Food Day)

A few years ago, before he became the face of New York’s bone broth craze, celebrated chef and Hearth owner Marco Canora says his diet consisted mainly of coffee, cigarettes, bread, and alcohol (which isn’t that rare among overworked chefs).

“It wore me down,” he says. “I went to a nutritionist, and he scared the living daylights out of me.”

So Canora started researching health and nutrition and set out to change his habits—an undertaking that couldn’t happen by broth alone. Now, he’s sharing the revamped, health-boosting recipes he created along the way in his new cookbook, A Good Food Day: Reboot Your Health with Food That Tastes Great.

It doesn’t hurt that in his restaurant kitchens, he’s always cooked with lots of fresh produce and high-quality meats using simple, timeless techniques—and when it comes to recipes, he’s brilliant at empowering you to do the same. (Remember his first cookbook, Salt to Taste?)

This Sweet Pepper Peperonata is a perfect example. It’s his flavor-filled take on the classic Italian dish, and with little more than garlic, olive oil, and fresh peppers (and some brain-boosting anchovies!), you’ll be able to create the perfect topping for a grilled chicken breast or cooked quinoa. Healthy, delicious dinner this week? Done. —Lisa Elaine Held

Good Food Day Marco Canora’s Sweet Pepper Peperonata
Serves 4–6

2 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 olive oil–packed brown anchovy fillet, minced
2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
2 large yellow bell peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
1 medium red onion, cut into ½ -inch dice
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Crack the garlic cloves by giving each one a tap with the flat side of a knife until they split open. In a large, cold, high-sided pan, combine ¼ cup of the olive oil, the garlic, and anchovy, then crank the heat to high.

When the oil is hot and you see the first wisps of smoke coming off the pan, add the bell peppers (so they get the most heat), then the onion, and season with salt and black pepper. Let the vegetables do their thing in the oil without stirring for about 4 minutes.

Stir briefly, and let cook for 2 minutes before stirring again. After another minute, or when the pan starts to look dry, add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and stir to coat. Cook until the peppers and onion show browning around the edges and have shrunk down some, about 3 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium high. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Cook for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally. Add the basil and continue cooking for 10 minutes, tossing every couple of minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vinegar. Serve immediately, or let it come to room temperature and store in the refrigerator.

For more information, check out A Good Food Day: Reboot Your Health with Food That Tastes Great

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