This recipe will put you in early autumn feel and even though you may not be at a fancy Italian restaurant you will certainly feel like being in one when the flavors from the oven will fill your kitchen.
The stuffed peppers can be eaten as a starter, antipasti, or as a side dish of your main course. The following recipe is for 4 servings, it will need about 10 minutes of preparation time and 35 minutes of cook time
Mediterranean stuffed peppers
1.5 tbsp olive oil
0.5 lbs of minced meat
1 tsp Italian herb seasoning (this can be a mixture of a seasoning of your choice)
4 red peppers, halved vertically and deseeded
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
0.25 lbs risotto rice
Zest and juice 1 lemon
16 oz hot chicken or vegetable stock
1 medium courgette, quartered lengthways and finely chopped
2 tbsp classic Italian pesto sauce
.25 lbs cherry tomatoes, halved
.15 lbs of mozzarella cheese, torn
The Execution Method
- Preheat the oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat ½ tbsp of the olive oil in a frying pan, add the minced meat and break up with a fork. Cook over a high heat for 2-3 minutes, mins, until browned and no pink remains. Stir in, the herb seasoning then transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Place the peppers cut side up on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and set aside
- Meanwhile, discard any remaining fat from the pan and then add the rest of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 5 mins until softened. Stir in the garlic and rice; cook for another minute. Add the lemon zest and juice then gradually pour in the stock, stirring at regular intervals until absorbed. This should take 15 mins. Stir in the courgette and cook for a further 3-4mins until both the rice and courgette are tender.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the pesto ad gently fold through the tomatoes.
- Divide the risotto equally between the peppers, then spoon over the mince. Top with the mozzarella and season
- Return to the oven and bake for 5 mins until the peppers are cooked though.
Since the Mediterranean diet allows for moderate consumption of wine, this dish combines well with a light fresh white wine if taken as a starter or with a light red wine if taken as a side dish to a main Italian dish.