Red bell peppers brighten vegetable plate of this vibrant, meatless meal

A different take on broccoli from “Mastering the Art of Southern Vegetables” by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart.

Charleston’s own Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart this spring published “Mastering the Art of Southern Vegetables,” an alphabetically ordered collection of the meatless recipes included in their James Beard Award-winning “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking.” This recipe, which thrusts red peppers to the forefront, can also be made with cauliflower instead of broccoli.


2 tablespoons oil

4 garlic cloves

10 Greek or Italian black olives

1 roasted red pepper (see below), vertically sliced

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 head broccoli florets, cooked

4 ounces feta or soft goat cheese, crumbled

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind


Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the olives and red pepper to the pan, sprinkle with oregano and parsley, and cook until heated through. When ready to serve, reheat the pan and add the cooked broccoli. Crumble the cheese over the broccoli and heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with lemon rind and serve warm.


4 to 6 whole or halved and seeded red bell peppers


Preheat a broiler. Move peppers to a foil-lined or nonstick rimmed baking sheet or broiling pan. Cook 3 inches from the heat until charred, turning so all sides are nearly black, about 30 minutes. Remove to a plastic bag. The heat and moisture generated from the bag aid in lifting the skin, making it easier to remove. Cool peppers sufficiently to handle. Peel off the skin with fingers; some prefer to do this under running water. Remove the stem; cut the pepper in half, and remove any seeds. Leave whole or tear into strips or chops.