In early fall, bell peppers pile high at the farmers market, an irresistible rainbow of glossy, crisp versatility. I’ve never loved green bell peppers, which are picked before they’re fully mature—they lack the sweetness that I find so appealing. Which means that this time of year, when the peppers have stayed on the vine until they develop their full flavor, I go a bit crazy. Some get roasted, others stuffed, but my favorite use for the colorful vegetables is peperonata, which can easily become the sauce for a quick and healthy chicken dinner.
Peperonata is an Italian dish of stewed bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions. Simple and beguiling, it’s often used as an antipasto atop bruschetta. But if you quickly brown boneless, skinless chicken breasts, then nestle them in the simmering sauce to finish cooking, you’ll find that peperonata makes a luscious accompaniment for a weeknight supper. Double everything but the chicken in the recipe below, and you’ll have an extra batch to use on pasta, to fill omelettes, or if you want to go the traditional route, on top of grilled Italian bread.