Thursday, October 13, 2011

Blow it out your old wa-zoo!

I grew up in a very small town in Southern NH. I lived on a street with very few other houses where there were many more trees than other kids to play with. From time to time, my sister and I would play at our next door neighbors house. The kids weren't exactly our age, the youngest was 5 years older than me, but still they were the only other young people we had on our street.

Every once in awhile we'd get invited over to our neighbors house for dinner. I hated it. First, there was a rule that you had to finish everything on your plate, whether you were full or not. Second, everything was cooked in lard. I can still remember the thick, ripe, musty smell, the thought of which makes my stomach turn. I distinctly remember being forced to finish a stuffed pepper that tasted just awful. Green and sickly, coated in fat, and stuffed with ground sausage and rice. It's like a nightmare. I've avoided stuffed peppers since then. The thought of them just made me cringe.

This weekend, Alex and I went to a wedding where vegetarian fare dominated the menu. The buffet looked delicious and the line ended with bright, colorful, delightful looking stuffed peppers. This was it. My chance to try them again without the slimy, artery-clogging lard coating or the heavy, meaty filling.

They were delicious. I knew I had to come home, recreate the dish, and change my feelings about stuffed peppers forever. I served my over a bed of pillowy couscous with sauteed zucchini


Baked Stuff Peppers (from Martha Stewart)

  • 2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise through stem, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1 heaping cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, coarsely chopped
  • 8 basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in top third. Place bell pepper halves, cut sides up, in a baking dish. Toss together tomatoes, feta, thyme, and basil in a medium bowl; season with black pepper. Fill each pepper with tomato and feta mixture, dividing evenly. Drizzle each with oil.

Bake stuffed peppers, covered with aluminum foil, until they begin to soften, about 30 minutes. Remove foil; continue to bake until tomatoes begin to burst and cheese turns light brown, 13 to 15 minutes more. Remove stuffed peppers from oven, and serve warm.

2 comments:

  1. I love that there are cherry tomatoes in the peppers. This looks awesome!

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  2. oh look at the color of this. red and yellow looking fantastic on white plate. thanks that you share this with some easy to do instructions. Happy weekend

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