These beautiful Oven-Charred, Tomato-Stuffed Peppers are a delicious showstopper with an unexpected twist.
Who doesn’t love beautiful food, especially when it tastes fresh and delicious? This stellar recipe for Oven-Charred, Tomato-Stuffed Peppers from Dorie Greenspan‘s latest cookbook, Everyday Dorie, The Way I Cook fits all the criteria.
This is my second time hearing her speak at a media luncheon at Melissa’s Produce. The first time I wrote about her recipe for Smoky, Cheesy Cookies from her cookbook Dorie’s Cookies. It was all about the sweets!
This time Dorie spoke passionately about her everyday recipes that can be easily created with basic culinary skills.
“Whenever I’m cooking, I try to sneak in a little surprise. I love it when there’s something unexpected in a dish, especially when it’s one we know well,” Dorie explains.
Dorie calls herself a practical cook and likes to use what she has on hand. She constructs her recipes so you will be able to do that as well. She teaches you how to cook ahead as well as spontaneously with what you have on hand.
Everyday Dorie makes cooking a pleasure for you as well as your guests.
Today’s Recipe: Oven-Charred, Tomato-Stuffed Peppers
This dish has the heady flavors and fragrances of the South of France, where baked, stuffed vegetables are a specialty.
Select nicely ripe tomatoes, and keep color in mind: If your bell peppers are red, use yellow tomatoes, and vice versa.
This dish is a good example of Dorie’s love of adding an unexpected twist. The stuffing has anchovies in it, also another southern French trick. But, don’t let the anchovy content scare you: You won’t even know they are in there. But if you must skip them, Dorie suggests substituting an extra spoonful of oil and a little more salt.
Once you put the peppers in the oven, check on them halfway through. If they get a little more charred than you would like just put a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the top and finish cooking.
Dorie suggests adding her Ricotta Spoonable from page 22 on top of the peppers. They are scrumptious either way.
Oven-Charred Tomato-Stuffed Peppers
These oven charred, tomato-stuffed peppers are packed full of flavor as well as being a visual delight.
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for optional garnish
- 1 clove garlic peeled and very thinly sliced
- 8 springs fresh thyme, rosemary and/or flat-leaf parsley
- 6 leaves fresh basil torn
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 tablespoons plain dried breadcrumbs
- 8 oil-packed anchovies minced
- 3 large boxy bell peppers preferably red and/or yellow
- 1 small lemon
- Pinch piment d’Espelette or ground cayenne pepper
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, about 25-30 halved
- Ricotta cheese or Spoonable Ricotta for serving (optional)
- Snipped chives or other fresh herbs for serving (optional)
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place a 9 1/2-inch pie pan (or similar-size baking dish) on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, parchment paper or a silicone liner. Spread a tablespoon of the oil over the bottom and sides of the pie pan, then scatter over the slices of garlic, half the sprigs of herbs and half the torn basil, then season with salt and pepper.
Stir the breadcrumbs and anchovies together in a small bowl. Grate the zest of the lemon over and squeeze in the juice from half of the lemon (about 1 tablespoon; precision isn’t important here). Cut 6 thin slices from the other half of the lemon, then cut the slices in half; set aside. (If any lemon remains, squeeze the juice from it over the breadcrumbs.) Stir in l tablespoon oil and season the crumbs with the piment d'Espelette or cayenne. Taste to see if you want some salt (anchovies are salty, so the seasoning might be just fine).
If you'd like (or need room in the pan), trim the peppers' stems. Slice the peppers in half the long way and remove the ribs and seeds. Spoon an equal amount of the bread-crumb mixture into each pepper, scatter the remaining basil over and top each one with 2 lemon slices. Divide the tomatoes among the peppers, placing them as close together as you can, and season with salt and pepper. (I put the tomatoes in the peppers cut side down because I think they look prettier that way, but there is no set rule here.)
Transfer the peppers to the pie pan, crowding them together and cajoling them so that they all fit. One or two might pop up, or their bottoms might not fully touch the base of the pan, but in the end they will be fine. Drizzle over enough of the remaining oil to lightly moisten the tomatoes and then strew over the remaining herb sprigs. (The peppers can be prepared a few hours ahead to this point and refrigerated, covered; let them stand at room temperature while the oven preheats.)
Bake the peppers for about 1 hour (check at the 45-minute mark) until they're as soft as you'd like them to be - poke the side of one with the tip of a paring knife to judge. The juices and oil should be bubbling and the peppers charred here and there. Remove and discard the herbs from the top of the peppers.
You can serve the peppers straight from the oven, warm or at room temperature. If you'd like, drizzle them with a bit more oil, top them with a little ricotta (adding a dollop of ricotta is particularly nice if you're serving the dish warm as a starter) and sprinkle with chives or other herbs.
Nutrition | Per serving: 190 calories, 4 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 15 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 290 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar
Thanks, Dorie for another great cookbook.
I can’t wait for your next one.
…and then, she paused for thought.