This is a recipe straight from the restaurant archives. My very first job out of culinary school was at the locally beloved D’amico Cucina in Minneapolis, MN which has since been turned into a downtown parking structure. I remember being so nervous those first few weeks as I learned to slowly stew the peppers, thinly slice the fennel and prosciutto and quenelle the goat cheese into perfect little footballs. The thing about this dish, is that it’s a salad that melts in your mouth. It tastes like Italy and summer.
for the peperonata:
½ c. olive oil
2 yellow bell peppers, sliced
2 red bell peppers, sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
⅓ c. sherry or champagne vinegar
1 T. raw honey
salt and red pepper flake, to taste
for the salad:
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced (slice and save any fennel fronds)
4-6 c. fresh arugula
¼ lb. prosciutto, thinly sliced
5 oz. fresh goat cheese
- Make the peperonata: Heat a large, heavy bottomed pot over low heat. Add the olive oil, yellow and red bell peppers and onion. Cover and cook on very low heat for around 1-2 hours, stirring throughout, making sure peppers don’t brown or stick to the bottom of the pan. The idea is to cook them slowly, so instead of “searing”, the juices melt into the olive oil as they gently cook.
- Remove stewed peppers from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Add the vinegar, honey, salt and red pepper flakes and stir together. You can make this ahead of time and store in the fridge until ready to make the salad.
- Plate the salad: In a large bowl gently combine the fennel, arugula and peperonata. Build salad in the center of a large platter. Arrange prosciutto slices and goat cheese around the perimeter. Buon Appetito!