Simple, tasty and one of my favourite dishes at the minute, I suppose because they are colourful and because the fresh oregano on the patio has recovered after a hard winter.
4 large red or green bell peppers
8-12 cherry tomatoes
16 leaves fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
3-4 portobello mushrooms, diced (or a mix of reconstituted dried porcini and button mushrooms)
100g hard cheese (I’ve used Cheddar,Comté, Gruyere, Taleggio), shaved with a potato peeler
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 C. Halve the peppers, lengthways and carefully scoop out any white pith from the inside. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and simmer the pepper halves for 10-15 minutes. Remove and drain. You can do this well in advance if you like.
Brush the skin of the peppers with a little olive oil. Put in a shallow oven proof dish or baking tray, Drop 2-3 cherry tomatoes, a dessertspoon of the mushroom mixture and a couple of oregano leaves into the cavity. Drizzle a little olive oil over each half pepper and season with a little sea salt – at the moment I’m using a truffle salt from significant Australian chef Tetsuya which really perks up the dish. Pile shavings of the cheese on top, add a couple of twists of black pepper and place in the oven. Cook for approx 15 minutes. If you then turn the oven down to 150 C and place the dish/tray on the oven floor they will keep warm but won’t spoil.
One half pepper makes a good starter or as a side dish to a main course. Or, with scrambled egg, a pleasant light lunch. You can eat them hot or cold, which is why I make more than I need for one meal.