This is for and about home cooks - the women all over the the world (and through the centuries) who put dinner on the table every night. They know how to cook quickly, easily, economically, healthily and satisfyingly whether for one or a dozen.

Part memoir, part diary of shopping, cooking, reading and thinking about putting supper on the table, by a former fashion/design writer/consultant whose secret love has always been food.  


Simple Piedmont Peppers

Yellow Piedmont Pepper

Yellow Piedmont Pepper

When the wonderful restaurant Bibendum opened here in London in the iconic Michelin building in 1987, one of the must have dishes was Piedmont Peppers - and then of course we all had to learn how to make it for dinner parties at home. A simple Italian recipe for red or yellow peppers roasted with anchovies and tomatoes, Elizabeth David had described it in her "Italian Food" published in 1954.  As Delia Smith tells us on her website, the Italian chef Franco Taruschio then at the famous Walnut Tree Inn, near Abergavenny, cooked it there. The English chef Simon Hopkinson ate it at the Walnut Tree and put it on his menu at Bibendum to the delight of its devoted customers.

Over the years, I forgot about this good little pepper dish -  until just a few days ago, while re-reading Hopkinson's excellent "The Good Cook" I discovered it again in all of its deliciousness.




Mixing yellow with long red peppers

Mixing yellow with long red peppers

Now there are several unquestionably perfect recipes for Piedmont Peppers - from "The Good Cook" or by Delia Smith or by Elizabeth David herself, for example, each slightly different, and each definitely worth making - but in this instance I cook like my mother, and just put things together. 

ALL YOU NEED are peppers, tomatoes, garlic, anchovies and olive oil.

Take a few red and/or yellow peppers (depending on how many people you are feeding or how hungry you are), cut them in half, remove the seeds and put them in a roasting pan. Take the same number of small tomatoes (here I used cherry tomatoes) cut them in half and put the halves into the peppers. Sprinkle with a few finely sliced cloves of garlic, an anchovy (per half pepper) torn into bits, and drizzle each half with a little olive oil. Roast in a preheated oven (180f) for 30-40 minutes. The peppers should be soft but hold their shape. Serve at room temperature. Lovely to eat for lunch the next day (or, indeed, the day after if they last that long) with some nice bread and butter. 

Francesca's Hake in Garlic Sauce

A Potager or Vegetable Garden