Tag Archives: peppers

RECIPE My stuffed peppers

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

Serves 8

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.

 

Sunflower Seed & Chilli Pesto And Stuffed Peppers

These were two recipes I devised for the Hospice Foundation ‘Sunflower Day’ appeal and which I demonstrated on Ireland AM TV3, with presenter and ex-model Laura Bermingham towering above me in her stacks! 4 minutes of fame used up, eleven to go!

SUNFLOWER SEED & CHILLI PESTO

I like this spread over cooked flat pasta (linguini, tagliatelle ) into which crumbled blue cheese has been stirred.

1-2 fresh jalapeno chillies, deseeded and chopped
60g sunflower seeds, toasted lightly and cooled
2 handfuls fresh coriander
2 handfuls fresh parsley
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
80ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional oil to cover pesto

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Pack into a container and cover with the additional oil. Keeps up to a week in the fridge.

STUFFED PEPPERS WITH TOMATOES, BACON AND SUNFLOWER SEEDS

Served hot or cold this versatile dish could be a main course, an accompaniment or a light snack.

4 rashers bacon, fried until crispy then crumbled
3 red and 3 yellow peppers
3 cloves garlic, sliced finely.
36 cherry tomatoes
36 small capers
1 handful fresh marjoram leaves, torn
60g white breadcrumbs
60g sunflower seeds
300ml stock or water
sunflower oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 180C
Fry the rashers until crispy, then chop or crumble. Lightly toast the sunflower seeds.
Halve each pepper lengthways and remove seeds.
Place peppers in a lightly oiled baking dish, cut side up. Into each half pepper half put 3 slivers of garlic, 3 tomatoes, 3 capers and a few marjoram leaves. Mix the breadcrumbs, sunflower seeds and bacon and sprinkle sparingly over the top.
Pour a little tock or water into the pepper halves to keep the stuffing moist.
Drizzle with sunflower oil and season with salt and pepper.
Pour about three quarters of an inch of water into the base of the dish to prevent sticking. Cover the dish with foil. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Inspect and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes or until peppers are soft.