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Stuffed Roasted Red Peppers

A healthy twist on a classic Italian main course. Protein-packed black beans are stuffed into succulent red peppers and smothered in a red wine sauce. Hungry yet?

Ingredients

Stuffing:
extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
sea salt
generous pinch red pepper flakes
1 carrot, finely diced
2-3 stalks celery, finely diced
1 cup fresh/frozen corn kernels
2-3 teaspoons mirin or white wine
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans

Peppers:
4 red bell peppers
extra virgin olive oil

Red Wine Sauce:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves
2 cups hearty red wine
2 large cans pureed tomatoes
3 to 5 fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoondried  basil
Handful of crushed red pepper
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper

Directions 
Prepare the stuffing by placing a small amount of oil, the garlic and onion in a small skillet and turn the heat to medium. When the vegetables begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt, the red pepper flakes and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add carrot and celery, a pinch of salt and sauté for 1-2 minutes more. Stir in corn, season lightly with salt and add mirin. Cover and cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes. Stir in cooked beans until ingredients are well combined. Transfer to a mixing bowl to cool.

Lightly oil each pepper and place each over an open flame on the stove. Turn each pepper, charring the skins completely. When the peppers are blackened, transfer them to a paper sack and seal shut to steam the skins from the peppers. After 10 minutes, carefully remove the peppers and, with your fingers, gently remove the charred skin, taking care to keep the peppers intact. Once all the charred skin is removed, carefully pull the seeds out of the tops of the peppers, keeping the peppers intact. Clean any remaining seeds from the peppers.

Carefully spoon filling into each pepper, filling abundantly, but taking care not to split them open. Place stuffed peppers on a baking sheet and place in a 300o oven to warm through, about 10 minutes.

Make the red wine sauce while the peppers bake. Place a small amount of oil, garlic and onion in a deep skillet over medium heat. When the onions begin to sizzle, saute with a pinch of salt until translucent. Add wine and heat through. Carefully, tip the skillet to pool the hot wine. Light a match near the sauce and let is light on fire and burn off the alcohol. (Skipping this step will result in a bitter sauce.) Stir in tomatoes, spices, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 7 minutes.

Makes 4 main servings or, split in half, 8 starter courses. Spoon sauce over top.


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