I got to the Farmer’s Market late today, and there were slim pickens. Swiss Chard must be plentifully growing on everyone’s farm/plot, since the tables were laden with it. There was even a swiss chard cooking demonstration going on at one booth. It was too crowded for me, but I could hear the chef say something about adding a splash of either red wine or balsamic vinegar just before serving. I’ll have to try that next week. I picked up some peppers and some tomatoes, and on the way home decided to stuff the peppers and serve them up for dinner. They can be served either as a lite main course or as a side. Either way, they’re a great summer meal.
2 tb olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
3/4 lb white button mushrooms, diced
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup white wine
1 14 oz can stewed tomatoes, drained and chopped, juices reserved separately
1 tb chopped Italian parsley
1 tb chopped fresh basil
1 large egg
3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Romano Cheese (if desired)
4-6 large Red Bell Peppers, sliced in half with core removed
Preheat oven to 400. Pour olive oil into a saute pan and cook the onion over medium heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Increase heat to high and add mushrooms and the bay leaf, cooking for 2 minutes, stirring well to prevent sticking.
Add wine and cook until it has all evaporated, 3-4 more minutes. Stir in stewed tomatoes, reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. Add parsley and basil, stirring well. Pour in the reserved tomato juice and cook over medium-low for five minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture should be fairly thick and almost dry. Continue to cook if it’s too watery.
Transfer mixture to mixing bowl. Add the egg, bread crumbs and cheese, if using. The stuffing should be thick and fairly moist. Stuff peppers and transfer to baking dish. Cover with foil and cook for 50 minutes. Uncover and return to oven for 10-15 minutes, or until stuffing begins to brown.
Note: This vegetarian stuffing can also be used for zucchini or other vegetables.