Saturday, April 21, 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging #79

Sher from What did you eat? is the host of this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging.

The item in the cross-hairs this week are Baby Peppers...

tumbling peppers

They have started appearing in the last couple of weeks at the markets and typically, I couldn't resist buying a few. A world of warning, the mild and hot versions look identical so it's best to check to make sure you've selected the right ones for your taste.

All peppers are excellent sources of Vitamins A and C, with red peppers containing higher levels of Vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin which are thought to help with age-related eye problems.

pepperbowl

The recipe I'm making isn't the most attractive dish in the world, in fact I'd say it's fairly ugly when compared to the before shots. However, as part of a tapas, the intensity of flavour makes it an ideal morsel - just dim the lights or better yet, light a few candles, after all every thing improves with candle light.

stuffed

Stuffed Baby Peppers

Baby Peppers/Capsicums/Peperoncini
Chèvre - like this or this
basil pesto
fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Lemon-scented olive oil

The first step is to remove the skin - there are many ways of doing this. My preference in the case of these small peppers is to place them under a grill to blacken their skin. When this happens place them in a bowl and seal with plastic wrap - this will help loosen the skin. Let them sit for a few minutes and then peel the charred skin from the peppers. It doesn't matter if there are little bits left on this adds to the rustic appeal of the dish.

Next remove the stems and using a very small spoon, scoop out the seeds and any membrane.

The filling is even easier - mash up your favourite Chèvre and then slacken the mixture with fresh pesto. How much pesto you use is entirely up to you and your particular taste.

Take teaspoons of the the mixture and roll into sausage shapes smaller than the openings in the peppers. Guide the mixture into the pepper, reshaping the pepper to resemble it's original form. Resist the urge to overfill.

Put the stuffed peppers onto an oven-proof dish and drizzle over with a little olive oil then place in a pre-heated 180°C/350°F oven for about 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese has softened and the peppers have warmed through.

Arrange on a small plate and drizzle with lemon-scented olive oil and chopped parsley - serve at once.

heart

Related recipes:
Roasted Red Capsicums
Sweet Chilli Sauce

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12 comments:

  1. Beautiful--and delicious! I love stuffing these little beauties with tuna fish. I've never had them with chevre, but I intend to rectify that! :) .

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  2. Lovely recipe and pictures. And now I know what I'm making for lunch today.

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  3. they are so pretty. they look like little jewels.

    i just wish i could enjoy capsicum. it looks so good and the textures, cooked and raw, are wonderful. but no matter how many times i try it, hoping, i just don't seem to like it. just have to keep on trying.

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  4. I must admit I've never had baby capsicum in my posession before. Stuffed peppers is a good old vegetarian family favourite in Britain, and goat's cheese sounds like an ideal filling.

    In college I'm responsible for supervising 2nd year students, and on Thursday I asked one of mine to make some basil pesto for a dinky potato salad. He ground it by hand in an enormous pestle and mortar, which resulted in the most rustic and superb tasting pesto I've ever had. In my opinion, far superior to the squeeky-clean purée we often see

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  5. The photo of the peppers partly in shadow is just beautiful. I think this sounds wonderful. I like peppers, although not the green ones as much as the red ones, but I *love* chevre. I remember when Sher made them stuffed with Tuna, and I haven't gotten around to that recipe yet either! I'll be adding this one to my to-try bookmarks.

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  6. Thanks Sher - tuna is a great stuffing, haven't done it myself but have tasted it as part of a tapas dinner.

    Thanks Silvana - hope you have a wonderful lunch!

    Thanks Anna - they are visually enjoyable even if they aren't gastronomically - I can understand, I must admit I can pass on raw capsicums but roasted red capsicums are just addictive.

    Hi Trig - would they have been stuffed with some kind of rice? It's hard finding something that doesn't match with chèvre :)
    My view on pesto is make it small and make it often and you can't really beat the mortar and pestle for the job - pesto needs to have character, you need to be able to see it's components, it should never be a homogenous green slurry.

    Thanks Kalyn - the peppers were very photogenic especially the one that looked like a heart. Now I wonder if you could combine the recipes and make them tuna and chèvre stuffed?

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  7. Haalo, we're on exactly the same page here. In this pesto you could see small pieces of semi-crushed pine nuts, bursts of garlic hit your tastebuds at different stages and strengths and the flavour of the basil was so much more pronounced from the slow release of aroma by pounding in the pestle and mortar.

    In fact the pesto was so irresistible, I ate all of the potato salad when service finished and munched down the pesto on it's own afterwards! It really is true that if you put a bit of love into your food, it gives you the love back in the eating

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  8. Beautiful! Easy and delicious--the characteristics of a perfect recipe. That you for sharing.

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  9. Absolutely gorgeous!! And so I know how to surprise my loved ones!! :)

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  10. Well said Trig!

    Thanks Christina!

    Thanks Helene - how they all enjoy it!

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  11. Delicious recipe, Haalo - and the photos... so wonderful! One of the peppers looks like a heart, so cute!

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  12. Thanks Patricia - the heart one was so cute!

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