Tian Rouge

Cold Red Pepper and Tomato Gratin

This brilliant, layered gratin must be prepared at least 2 hours ahead of time so it can be served cold. It is most inviting on a hot day.


  • ½ cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • ⅓ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 to 3 red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 large, firm tomatoes
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs (preferably homemade)


Preheat the broiler to 400°. Mix together the parsley, basil, and thyme. Wash the red peppers, leaving the stems on. Brush them with oil and put under the broiler close to the flame. Turn frequently with tongs until they are evenly blistered all over. Remove and wrap in a wet towel for 15 minutes. Peel off the skin under cold running water with a small sharp knife and discard stems and seeds. Dry and cut into i-inch strips.

Wash the tomatoes and slice each into 4 round pieces. Oil an earthenware or enamel casserole dish and cover the bottom with a third of the tomato slices. Sprinkle with a quarter of the herb mixture and salt and pepper. Cover with a layer of half of the pepper strips. Repeat the layering until these ingredients are used up. Sprinkle the top with capers and bread crumbs and dribble with olive oil before baking for 20 minutes.

Chill well before serving.