Pati Jinich and Sally Swift rave about stuffed vegetables on this episode of Big Appetites. If, like me, you listened to it and decided that you, too, would like to consume some stuffed vegetables, YOU ARE IN LUCK. Sally also works at The Splendid Table, and they have shared three different recipes for stuffed vegetables. Maybe take a whack at one of them this weekend.
Makes 16 stuffed peppers, serving 4 generously as a main dish, or 8 as a first course.
30 minutes prep time; 10 minutes grill or stove time; 20 minutes grill or oven time
Serve hot or warm, and stuff them a day ahead if you’d like.
- 1/2 pound fresh whole-milk mozzarella in liquid, drained and cut into small dice or shredded
- 6 ounces Ricotta Salata or feta, shredded or crumbled
- 3 ounces sharp Provolone, shredded
- 1 tablespoon capers, or more to taste
- 1/4 of a medium to large red onion, minced
- 1/3 tight-packed cup Italian parsley leaves, minced
- 2 tight-packed tablespoons each fresh basil, spearmint and oregano leaves, torn
- 10 anchovy fillets, rinsed
- 8 small red, yellow and orange bell peppers
- 4 to 10 fresh grape leaves (optional) or tart greens
1. Blend together in a bowl all the cheeses, capers, herbs, red onion (save time by quick mincing the parsley in a processor, adding the onion for just a few seconds so it doesn’t turn to mush) and two of the anchovies. Cut the remaining anchovies in half lengthwise.
2. Cut peppers in half vertically, leaving stems intact. Remove seeds and inner veins. Soften each pepper half either over a moderately hot grill, stove burner, or under the broiler. You want them close to tender but not burnt. If finishing them in the oven, arrange them cut side up in an oiled, shallow baking dish or on a baking sheet. Otherwise,
3. Loosely mound stuffing in the peppers and set aside until ready to bake or grill. Preheat oven to 400ºF. or grill them over wood charcoal that’s medium hot. Figure either way it’ll take about 20 minutes for the cheese to soften and melt.
4. To serve, line a serving platter with the grape leaves or greens and arrange peppers on top of them. Garnish with strips of anchovy and serve hot or warm.
You can also try your hand at stuffed butternut squash or tomatoes stuffed with rice, pine nuts, and oregano. Or you can make a frozen pizza, but really, it’s the weekend. Treat yourself.
(Photo courtesy: Andy Kruse)