Summer Bounty Stuffed Peppers

Aug 20, 2014

photo credit: Tricia McCauley

Once a year I get a yen to make stuffed peppers.  Why?  Who knows, but they are tasty and offer lots of opportunities for creativity.  I made these recipes up and, let’s be honest, my “test kitchen” technique is a bit sloppy.  So I don’t have exact measurements for you.  If you’re a by-the-book cook then I do recommend the many options in The Joy of Cooking.

The Peppers:
14 or so medium sweet peppers (I used long ones – cubanelles and roasting pimentos —  plus a few small bell peppers)

Blanch the peppers in boiling water for 4 minutes; then put them into ice water to cool.  Once cooled and drained, use a small knife to cut out the top core.  Use knife, grapefruit spoon, and/or very small sauce spoon to remove seeds. (Appropriate tool will depend on the size of the pepper.)

This year I made two recipes: one vegetarian and one with meat.  For both stuffings, I started with a base of onion, garlic, squash, and eggplant.

Stuffing Base:
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large summer squash, diced
1 smallish eggplant, peeled and diced

Saute onion & garlic in olive oil til transparent; add squash and eggplant, plus a lot of ground black pepper and a dash of sea salt.  Saute the mixture for 5-10 minutes, then add 1/4 cup water, stir, and cover.  Cook til everything is soft.  Add more salt or pepper to taste.  Divide the mixture in half (if you’re making 2 recipes).

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Vegetarian Stuffing:
1 cup brown rice, cooked
3 small tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 handful oregano leaves, minced
1 handful thyme leaves, minced
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Mix these ingredients together with your squash mixture.  Add more salt & pepper if you like.

Pork Stuffing:
1 cup ground pork, browned and drained
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used gluten-free)
1 handful mint leaves, minced
1 handful parsley leaves, minced

Mix these ingredients together with your squash mixture.  Add more salt & pepper if you like.

Put It All Together:
Stuff your peppers with the squash & eggplant mixture of your choice.
Use a spoon small enough that it won’t destroy the peppers.
Lightly oil a baking dish or two.  Place the peppers inside.  Cook 15 minutes or so at 350 degrees.

Enjoy your summery feast!