Stuffed Peppers with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Source: Alison Mountford, Square Meals
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on August 24, 2013.
Serves 3 to 4
2 to 4 bell peppers of any color
Salt and pepper
6 ripe sauce tomatoes (such as Early Girl, San Marzano, or Roma)
2 cups cooked grains (such as brown rice, barley, farro, or quinoa)
1 yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
1 small carrot
1 stalk celery
1 tablespoon butter
1 summer squash
1 handful green beans
1 ear of corn
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup grated cheese (such as mozzarella, Parmesan, or Gruyère), plus more for optional topping
½ cup chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, parsley, or oregano)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare the peppers for stuffing: remove the stem and core, and cut in half lengthwise for smaller servings or leave whole for larger servings. Remove the seeds and ribs. Rub the hollowed-out pepper with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes until the peppers are just a little soft but still holding their shape. Remove from the oven and set aside.
2. Roast the tomatoes until the skins are just charred enough to remove. Set aside until you can handle them, then remove the skins. Pass the tomatoes through a food mill (this can also be done in a food processor or blender, or you can crush them by hand). Whisk in some salt and pepper and some olive oil. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, cook your grain of choice with a little salt. Set aside to cool.
4. Dice the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery and sauté them in the butter and a splash of olive oil until translucent, seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Dice the summer squash and add. Then trim the green beans into small rounds, and shave the corn from the cob. Add in and stir just to coat.
5. Mix the grains with the sautéed vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add the lemon zest and juice. Add the cheese and herbs, then stir to combine.
6. Stuff your peppers generously with the filling.
7. Spread most of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish, then nestle the peppers in. Top each pepper with a little more sauce and (if desired) top with a little more cheese. Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes, until peppers are soft and cheese is bubbly.