Company dinner the other night and I got to thinking that, along with a hug, a guest’s next best welcome might be the delicious aromas of whatever’s cooking, and knowing that it’s especially for them. Buttermilk-marinated chicken roasting in the oven alongside a pan of carrots with garlic, cumin and orange. Roasted peppers, cooked earlier, just needed reheating.
Sweet peppers. Char, peel, and stuff them with almost anything at all – in this case quinoa. Five ingredients: sweet peppers, quinoa, garlic, cheese and parsley.
Quinoa Stuffed Roasted Peppers Recipe
From NY Times, October 2013 – several roasted pepper recipes. I’d like to try them all! Serves 4.
Ingredients: 4 medium-size red or yellow bell peppers/ 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil/ 2 garlic cloves, minced/ 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley/ *1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa/ 2 ounces Manchego cheese or Parmesan, grated (1/2 cup)/ Salt and freshly ground pepper/ 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce optional.
Directions: Roast the peppers over a flame, under a broiler or on a grill until uniformly charred. Place in a plastic bag or a tightly covered bowl and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove all of the charred skin, rinse briefly and pat dry.
Carefully cut away the stem from the peppers. Cut a slit down the side of each pepper, from the stem end to the bottom. Gently open out and remove the seeds and membranes; tip out the juice. Try to keep the peppers in one piece. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, nonstick skillet and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the parsley and quinoa and mix together until the quinoa is coated with oil. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a baking dish large enough to accommodate all of the peppers. One at a time, lay a pepper in the baking dish and fill with the quinoa mixture. Gently open the pepper, mounding the filling onto one half, and folding the other half back over the filling, overlapping the edges slightly. Sprinkle with a little extra Parmesan. Cover with foil or a lid and bake the peppers for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, reheat the tomato sauce.
Prepared peppers may be made one day ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before baking.
If using tomato sauce, ladle it onto serving plates or a platter and top with the stuffed peppers.
Salty hot fudge sauce and ice cream for dessert, a sliced apple. Dark and cool outside, cozy and delicious in the house, the gifts of autumn.