Alright friends, if you think that red, yellow, orange and green peppers are pretty on your plate, wait to see what they do for your palate. This sturdy and flavorful vegetable is screaming to be stuffed! If you think stuffing them with an Italian inspired theme is the only way to go, you are mistaken. Get crazy and stuff with quinoa, couscous, vegetables/meats or other ethnic inspired dishes (an enchilada perhaps…just sayin’).
It seems our bins are bursting with peppers, so lets put them to good use and make them the star of the show!
Sweet Stuffed Peppers
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 1 large)
- 1-2 tomatoes, finely chopped (or small can of diced tomatoes)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped leek
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 4 medium-size red bell peppers (each about 4 to 6 ounces), halved lengthwise, seeded
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix first 11 ingredients in large bowl until well blended. Fill pepper halves with sausage mixture, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Arrange in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)
Bake peppers uncovered until tops are browned and thermometer inserted into filling registers 165°F, about 45-1 hour. Transfer peppers to platter. Garnish with basil sauce serve.
Basil Sauce (Optional)
- 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) creme fraiche or buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus extra, as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra, as needed
Sauce: In a blender, combine the basil, creme fraiche (or buttermilk), olive oil, water, garlic, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.