Balsamic glazed peppers with capers and basil

a very Italian stir fry, balsamic glazed bell peppers
a very Italian stir fry, balsamic glazed bell peppers

These peppers have the  glorious summer colors and fragrance of the Mediterranean. Make sure to use large, thick fleshed, fresh peppers, yellow or red. The green ones are not sweet enough for this recipe.
Capers are the edible buds of  a hardy bush which grows on walls and rocky soils in the  Aeolian islands, near Sicily. If possible, use small capers preserved in salt, they are more aromatic and less pungent than the pickled ones.

  • 2 large red or yellow peppers
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon basil or mint leaves

Deseed the peppers and cut them in 1/2-inch wide strips. Put the oil and pepper strips in a large, heavy based, pan and cook over fairly high heat for 10 min., stirring often to prevent burning.
Lower the fire, move the peppers strips towards the edge of the pan and add the pressed garlic, and anchovy, stirring quickly until the anchovy melts.
Add vinegar, stir for a few more minutes, sprinkle with chopped basil or mint and remove from the fire.  Let it rest for at least one hour and up to two days, it improves with time. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Serves 4


  1. Letizia, this must be both sweet (from the bell peppers) and tangy at the same time, what a great combination! I’m sure it does improve with time!

  2. This remains one of our favorite recipes from last year. Wonderful combination of flavors and easy to prepare.

  3. We don’t usually like anchovies… What do they add to the dish? Can we not use them and still be delicious?

    • Hi Alison
      I do know that many people outside Italy don’t like anchovies because Italian restaurants abroad use ridiculous amounts of them making the dishes unpalatably salty. I have written a whole article about the use of anchovy in Italian cuisine
      Anchovy, like other ingredients contribute a umami taste, meaning they enhance the flavor, you don’t even want to taste them. My advice is to try the recipe with the tiniest bit of anchovy to see if it is acceptable for you. If it really isn’t, then try with a tiny sprinkle of organic bouillon powder. It’s not going to be the same, but it’s probably the closest substitute.

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