Italian-born chef Salvatore Pepe is very experienced with cooking rabbit, having learnt his trade in Tuscany where it is more common than chicken.
It often features on his Adelaide restaurant menus, Cibo (now closed) and Pepe Cucina at Burnside Village.
“I love to cook with rabbit,” says Pepe. “I prefer farmed rabbits which are meatier but still lean and the flavour matches so well with ingredients such as rosemary and olives.”
Here Pepe shares a favourite rabbit recipe – Coniglio ai peperoni (roast rabbit with red and yellow capsicums) – using whole farmed rabbit which is available at specialist butchers such as Feast Fine Foods and Angelakis Bros.
“If rabbit is unavailable, this recipe works just as well with chicken.”
Coniglio ai peperoni
1 whole farmed rabbit, cut into large pieces
3 garlic cloves
60ml extra virgin olive oil
2 fresh bay leaves
4 sage leaves
1 rosemary stalk
1 red capsicum, sliced
1 yellow capsicum, sliced
15 Ligurian olives or small black olives
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt to taste
Wash the rabbit in cold water and dry very well, place herbs and garlic in a baking tray and lay rabbit pieces on top. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the tray in a pre-heated oven at 220°C for 10 minutes, then add the capsicum and olives and cook for a further 20 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic and return to the oven for a couple of minutes before serving.
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