Tuesday, September 3, 2013

More Fillings for Baked Peppers

Colored peppers
This is peak season for peppers, and we can't get enough of them.  We love them raw (especially our summer helper Laura, who eats a pepper like an apple), on their own or dipped in hummus.  We love them roasted on pizza.  We love them in soup (see this week's other recipe).  Nigel Slater loves them stuffed and baked, and he's right; stuffed peppers can satisfy any occasion and any audience.  Here are several fillings he suggests.

from Tender by Nigel Slater

  • Onions softened until sweet and golden, then stirred into cooked brown rice, golden raisins, and toasted almonds.  Season with allspice, dill, black pepper, and cinnamon.
  • Simmered green lentils seasoned with mashed roasted garlic, green onions, and mushrooms that you have sautéed until sticky.  Season with sherry vinegar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and parsley.
  • Onions softened in butter, then stirred through with cooked pearl barley, sautéed mushrooms, chopped preserved lemon, thyme, a little garlic, and parsley.  Dot with butter before baking.
  • Steamed couscous seasoned with fried onion, raisins, toasted pine nuts, cinnamon, ground cardamom, and toasted garlic.  At the table, drizzle with yogurt into which you have stirred cilantro, olive oil, and fresh mint.
  • Mozzarella, torn into chunks, pushed into the open pepper halves with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, black olives, and chopped anchovy, then baked until fragrant.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut peppers in half, tug out the seeds and cores, and lay the halves, cut side up, in an ovenproof baking dish.  Pile the filling into the peppers, and cover loosely with aluminum foil (you can remove this toward the end of the baking time for some nicely browned tops, if you choose).  Bake for about 45 minutes, until sizzling. 

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