May 19, 2009 Published in the September 2007 issue of Portland Monthly


Recipe Courtesy Troy MacLarty, chef of Lovely Hula Hands.

Troy MacLarty, chef of Lovely Hula Hands, suggests using gypsy peppers of different colors if possible, though any mixture of sweet peppers will do. He also suggests throwing in a couple spicy peppers, such as jalapeños, if you like.

Makes 3 cups.


¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
6– 8 cups gypsy peppers or other sweet peppers, seeded and sliced into strips
2 cups sliced red onion
5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2– 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 ripe tomatoes, destemmed, cut in half and grated on a box grater, skin discarded
¼ cup capers, roughly chopped (salt-packed are best, soaked in cold water to remove excess salt)
½ cup basil, roughly chopped
Salt to taste

(1) Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Layer peppers, then onion, then garlic in the pot.
(2) Bring to a simmer, adding salt to taste, then cook, stirring often, until all ingredients are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes.
(3) Remove from heat. Stir in red wine vinegar, grated tomato, capers and basil, adjusting the amounts of vinegar and salt to taste. Keep in mind that the vinegar is meant to bring out the sweetness of the peppers, not overpower their flavor.

Mixture will taste best after sitting for an hour and can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to one week.

Filed under