Okay, so sweet peppers aren’t exactly a “mystery” ingredient. But my CSA box has been overflowing with red, white, yellow and orange bell peppers for the last month, and I was beginning to run out of ideas of how to use them all (one more fajita or taco and my family was going to freak out!)
When we were invited to a backyard barbecue, the answer came to me: stuffed sweet pepper appetizers. They were super easy to make and a hit at the party – so if you’re drowning in peppers, definitely give this recipe a try:
- A half dozen or so bell peppers
- A couple tablespoons of olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- A package of goat cheese
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- Fresh or dried herbs of your choice. I used basil, thyme and oregano.
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash peppers, cut in half lengthwise and clean out the seeds and white pulp on the ribs. If the pepper is very small or an awkward shape that won’t be able to lie flat when cut in half, you can just cut a large slit down one side and clean it out. Place peppers hollow side up in a baking dish coated with nonstick spray.
Now drizzle peppers with about half the olive oil and place in the oven to start softening, about five minutes.
Crumble the goat cheese and mix with salt and pepper to taste, plus a few tablespoons of your herb mixture.
Remove peppers from oven and turn oven up to 450. Using a spoon, stuff the peppers with the goat-cheese mixture, drizzle with the rest of the olive oil, then sprinkle the tops of the peppers with pine nuts. (The hotter oven will help toast the pine nuts, which really brings out the flavor.) Return the peppers to the oven and set your timer for 15 minutes.
While the peppers are roasting, make the honey-balsamic glaze. This isn’t totally necessary, but I found that the sweetness of the glaze really complemented the tangy goat cheese. Just put the honey and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat, and simmer for a few minutes until it thickens. I used white balsamic but you can use any kind you like.
Check your peppers. They will need to roast about 15 minutes or so, until peppers are soft, cheese is melty, and pine nuts are golden brown (but not too dark: a burned pine nut is a very sad thing!) When they’re done, remove from oven and drizzle with warm balsamic-honey glaze. Yum!