The weather has already turned balmy in NY and spring is in the air, golden yellow daffodils blooming, trees and shrubs flowering, and the pollen causing allergy sufferers to suffer very early in the year. Yesterday afternoon was particularly warm for March, and I decided to go for a long walk and soak in some gorgeous afternoon sun. Walking in the neighborhood, these beautiful sweet peppers caught my attention. I knew I had to take some home with me and wondered what was I going to make with these lovely peppers, they looked too beautiful to leave behind. So, an hour later, a pile of beautiful red and orange peppers sat on the kitchen counter, waiting to be dressed and served.
Just the other day I had seen Freshly Pressed Sweet Mini Peppers by We Call Him Yes! Chef! and checked it out again. Hmmm, what else? And suddenly I knew I could stuff them with some cheese and herbs. As always, the pantry and refrigerator are great inspiration for a recipe. Are you like me who can stand and stare at the items on the shelves for several minutes? Nothing new has mysteriously appeared on those shelves, yet I keep looking. A few minutes of searching and moving cans and other items, I had some feta cheese, black pitted olives, fresh cilantro (had no fresh parsley), scallions, some leftover salami, bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese. After some dicing, mincing, grating, and crumbling, everything went into a bowl. A quick toss and swirl and the filling was ready.
It took some time to slit the peppers lengthwise and remove the stems and seeds – then they were ready to be filled.
The peppers were stuffed with the filling. I did not add salt but some freshly ground black pepper and grated parmesan cheese was sprinkled on top followed by a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. The peppers went into a 400-degree pre-heated oven until the cheese was melting and gooey.
It was tasty – olives, cheese, salami, breadcrumbs – can one go wrong with this combo? It is a perfect appetizer – I know for sure that I’m buying more peppers before the store runs out of it. Now, let me finish off the last few peppers – why save them when they are delicious warm and toasty?
Salami is optional – sausages would be ideal too. Or, you could have a vegetarian filling and leave out the salami/sausage. The next time I would try some other ingredients for a twist on this recipe – any suggestions?