Every time I make this dish, and I make it lots, I’m surprised by it — surprised by how much I enjoy the process of making it, of stuffing halved peppers with a little bread-crumb mix, some herbs and as many small tomatoes as I can fit into them; surprised by how beautiful the dish is as I’m assembling it and again after it’s softened and charred in the oven; and surprised by how all kinds of people love it.
The first layer of bread-crumb stuffing packs bright flavors: anchovies, lemons, herbs and seasonings. The top layer’s got the sweetness and acidity of the tomatoes. Be generous with the herbs — before you put the peppers in their baking pan, slick it with olive oil and shower it with a mix of herbs and slices of garlic. I like to have thyme in the bouquet, rosemary too, but parsley, basil and mint are all good players here as well. You may or may not have oil left over for dunking or remoistening the peppers, but that’s not the point — this oil-and-herb landscape seasons the bottoms of the peppers and adds another layer of aromatics to the dish.
Since the recipe multiplies easily and endlessly, and because it is good at any temperature, but best, I think, at room temperature, mark it as a party dish.