2 large red bell peppers
2 large green bell peppers
2 large yellow bell peppers
8 fresh Italian sausage links, pork or chicken
24 cipollini onions
extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for liberal drizzling
Aged balsamic vinegar, for basting
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
3-4 tablespoons hot pepper rings, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 loaf ciabatta bread, split and cut into 8 pieces
6 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Note: These skewers can be prepared on the outdoor grill or under broiler.
Heat the broiler to high (even if you are planning to grill the kabobs). If you are grilling outside, also pre-heat the grill to medium-high. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and char them all over, about 15 minutes. Leave the oven door cracked a bit so that steam can escape. While the peppers roast and blacken, bring a couple inches of water to boil in a skillet. Add the sausages and par-cook them by boiling them for 7-8 minutes. While the sausages cook, bring a medium size pot of water to a boil. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Drain them, then wipe off the skins and trim off the ends with a paring knife. Cut each sausage into three pieces. On each of four metal skewers, thread six pieces of sausage and six onions. Drizzle the skewers with EVOO, season with salt and pepper and reserve. Place the roasted peppers in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. If you're continuing to prepare the kabobs under the broiler, leave it on, but drop the rack a few inches. If you are grilling outside, turn the broiler off. Cool the peppers for 10 minutes so that you can handle them. Peel and seed them, then chop them into 2-inch squares or slice them into 2-inch wide strips. Dress with a liberal drizzle of EVOO, salt and pepper, then sprinkle onions and hot pepper rings on top. In a 6-inch skillet over low heat or on the side of the outside grill, melt the butter, the stir in the garlic and parsley and reserve. Grill or broil the skewers for 5-6 minutes, turning them every couple of minutes. Baste with the vinegar in the last minute of cooking time. Char the bread on the grill or in the broiler during the last two minutes of cooking time, then dip it in the garlic-parsley butter. On a serving platter, arrange the balsamic-brushed cooked sausage and onions on a bed of dressed peppers and surround them with chunks of garlic toast. Remove the metal skewers and serve.