Thursday, 31 May 2012
I found the cutest little baby bell peppers in the store today and I just couldn't resist picking them up! I am such a sucker for baby anything . . . kittens, puppies, duckings . . . baby vegetables!!
Add to the fact that I had also recently seen a recipe somewhere for some stuffed baby bell peppers that looked delicious and well . . . I just HAD to have them!!
When I got home though . . . I looked high and low, through every single cookbook I had been devouring over the past few days and do you think I could find that darn recipe???? NO WAY!!! I could not find it at all . . . MOST annoying!
Talk about disappointed . . . but never mind. I think I managed to come up with something that was pretty delicious irregardless of it not being the one I had originally in mind.
I combined traditional Mediterranean flavours . . . using couscous and chopped marinated Kalamata olives . . . some toasted pine nuts, along with some chopped parsley and mint.
Then I added a bit of a middle Eastern twist and added some dried fruit . . . in the form of chopped raisins. A bit of salt and pepper and olive oil and voila!! I had something that tasted quite scrummy.
Stuffed into baby bell peppers and roasted, this lovely dish came out of the oven looking just beautiful . . . and then I added a few handfuls of mozzarella cheese to the top and allowed it to melt all over it . . . just for some additional protein.
These make a fabulous Vegetarian light supper when combined with some salad on the side. I think they would also make an excellent light starter or even a wonderful addition to a finger food buffet. (Although if I was expecting people to pick them up, I wouldn't quite bake them for as long as I did. You would want the peppers to be a bit firmer for handling.)
All in all, I would give this 5 stars and two thumbs up!! Seriously. They were just wonderful served at room temperature.
*Stuffed Baby Sweet Bell Peppers*
makes 24 stuffed baby bell pepper halves
Easy and delicious. These make a great starter and mezzo dish, as well as a delicious main course when served with a salad!!
75g of couscous (1/2 cup)
125ml of boiling water (1/2 cup)
55g of raisins, chopped (1/3 cup)
75g of pine nuts, toasted (1/2 cup)
2 heaped dessertspoons of capers, rinsed of any salt or brine
45g of marinated pitted kalamata olives, drained and chopped (1/4 cup, chopped)
4 TBS coarsely chopped mint and flat leaf parsley, combined
4 TBS olive oil, plus more to drizzle
salt and black pepper to taste
12 baby sweet bell peppers, halved and deseeded (or 6 large ones)
a handful of grated mozzarella cheese
Balsamic vinegar to drizzle (use a good quality)
Place the couscous in a bowl. Pour the boiling water over top and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in the chopped raisins, pine nuts, rinsed capers, chopped olives, mint and parsley and half of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Taste and adjust as needed.
Preheat your oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Have ready a large baking dish. Place the pepper halves into the dish. Stuff each with a portion of the stuffing. Drizzle with some more olive oil. Cover the baking dish with foil. Bake for 30 minutes in the heated oven. Remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top of each. Return to the oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
Remove from the oven and place onto a nice platter. Drizzle with some Balsamic vinegar and serve. May be served hot or at room temperature.