Pepperonata Sandwich

Pepperonata Sandwich

When you’re in the business of giving advice – and that’s a big chunk of what we do here at SPC – you run the risk of sounding like you’ve got everything figured out. Or at least that portion of life that you’re giving advice on. For instance, recently Laura and I were invited to be on Social Common’s new live Youtube show (7:30 every Tuesday!) to talk about the school lunches. Natalie and Catherine show covers everything moms deal with, from tantrums to body image struggles. They shoot it in Natalie’s living room, there’s wine involved, a lot of laughs, and somehow some amazing advice gets shared amongst the chaos of it all. Catherine’s daughter has been coming home from school every day this year with an un-touched lunch. It’s making Catherine crazy and we don’t blame her. How is that kid learning anything in the afternoon on an empty stomach?! So, of course we launched into our usual tips and here they are.

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  1. Get kids involved. Big kids, like 8 or 9 year olds, can start making their own lunch. Or help with making it. Younger kids can talk about what they’d like in their lunch. Work lunches into your meal plan (don’t know how to make one? meal planning video!) and post it on the fridge. Kids do better with any meal they know about in advance.
  2. Get a great lunch box or bag. We like bento box style lunch boxes for smaller kids as it allows for the finger foods they like. They also allow lunches to make it to lunch time un-squished. Who wants a squished lunch.
  3. Tell them to eat their lunch. The lunch room is a zoo. Like, monkeys swinging from vines. It can be really tough for kids to focus on a sandwich when there’s a party going on. Sometimes a reminder that lunch has to come before the gossip about whose collection of Shopkins is the best. Damn Shopkins.
  4. Don’t get stuck in the sandwich rut. Always be on the lookout for dinners that can go to school the next day as a leftover.

Ta da! Okay, now, just to show you how full of it I am, I’m sharing a sandwich recipe with you. It’s not really a sandwich recipe but this pepperonata makes a killer sandwich filling. You whip up a big batch of it on the weekend and you can put it in a sandwich with goat or cream cheese, you can stir it into some freshly cooked pasta for a quick dinner or add it to an omelette or frittata for brunch. Check out Esme in this video putting this pepperonata into lunchtime action!

And back to my original point, I do everything on this list of tips AND I make this pepperonata and sometimes my kids bring home untouched lunches. Kids aren’t mathematical equations. Great lunch + cute lunch box + pep talk = lunch-eating kid. Wouldn’t that be amazing? But it’s true often enough that we keep at it even on days when we feel like we don’t know what we’re doing.


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 3 cups


  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • 1 onion, cut into thin strips
  • 6 sweet peppers, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar


Pour your oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 3 minutes until they start to soften. Toss in the peppers, sugar, herbs, salt and pepper and stir until everything is well coated. Place a lid on your pan and reduce the heat. Allow the vegetables to sweat for about 30 minutes and they will become really soft.

Take the lid off of the pan and raise the heat to medium. Cook off the excess liquid, which will take about 3 more minutes. Pour in balsamic vinegar and remove from the heat.

Peperonata will keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for 5 days.

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