Peperonata with Garlicky Bread + Ricotta
Why we love it:
- 1 cup Basmati Rice (White)
- 11⁄2 cups Water
- 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
- 1⁄4 Red Onion
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 3 Bell Pepper (Orange, Yellow or Red)s (we like 2 red and 1 yellow, but any combination is ok!)
- 1⁄4 bunch Tarragon
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
- 2 teaspoons Red Wine Vinegar
- 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (divided)
- 1 pound Zucchini
- 1 Baguette
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 4 Tablespoons Ricotta Cheese
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1. PREHEAT OVEN TO 425 DEGREES
Bring rice, water and 1 teaspoon of salt to boil over high heat. Once boiling, stir well and reduce to low. Cover tightly and set a timer for 17 minutes. When it’s done, turn off the heat and let the rice sit, covered still, until you’re ready to serve. If you’d like, add a tablespoon of butter on top the rice once your turn the heat off, but cover it up again quickly!
3. PREP SAUCE
Slice the onion into half moon shape rings that are about ¼” wide.
Mince all but one garlic clove. (Reserve clove for the bread, leave the skin on and just cut it in half).
Slice peppers, removing the membrane and the seeds - be aware when cutting to use up as much of the edible pepper as possible. The easiest way to cut the pepper is in half, then pull out the seeds and center stem with your hand. Then slice into strips.
Pluck tarragon leaves off the stems and set aside for garnish.
4. COOK SAUCE
Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and add the onions. Sauté for 4 minutes. Then add the peppers and the minced garlic. Add ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often, but cover the pan when not stirring. The peppers should caramelize at the edges and become soft, breaking down a bit.
Add red wine vinegar and stir. Cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat and toss in 1 tablespoon of butter.
While the peppers are sautéing, prep the zucchini. Trim just the stem end off the zucchini. Slice 4 times into thin planks, then 4 more times the other way, into fry shapes. If they’re longer than about 5 inches, cut them in half for shorter fries.
Toss on a baking with a pinch of salt and drizzle of olive oil. Spread them out in one layer so they brown on the hot pan. Add to the oven and bake for about 6 minutes.
6. GARLIC BREAD
Slice the baguette in half, then on a dramatic angle into thirds. Smear evenly with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Place the bread on the baking sheet with the zucchini, or in a toaster oven, and bake for about 5 minutes until the butter is bubbly and the edges are just golden brown. If you’d like the color darker, turn the oven to broil for a few minutes, keeping your eye on it constantly.
When toasted, pull the bread from the oven. Use tongs or a clean towel to hold the bread, and use the cut side of the garlic clove to rub the toasty bread. The garlic will melt away, almost like sidewalk chalk! If you have any garlic left, you can mince it up and add it to the sauce.
Serve a bed of rice topped generously with sauce. Pile zucchini on the side. Dollop the ricotta evenly among plates. Garnish with tarragon and if you like, freshly cracked black pepper.