Taste of Greece: Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers
My husband and I recently decided to “travel the world” to really explore worldly cuisine. One of our pit stops was a small village – Meteora, Greece – a village with towering natural sandstone rock pillars. Within the midst of these soaring mountains nestled a small Greek restaurant, Gardenia, where we tried an olive rich stuffed bell pepper dish. Sitting back in my kitchen in the States I decided to make my own version of this delectable dish. WARNING: It is mouth watering.
Fresh Bell Peppers of your choice (Yellow, Orange, Red, Green). Make sure you pick large bell peppers with a flat base that can hold the stuffing. Also, stuffed small sweet peppers make a nice finger dish.
Stuffed Bell Pepper Filling Ingredients:
- 1 cup of steel cut oats
- 1 cup of cracked wheat
- 1/2 cup of red quinoa
- 1/4 cup of sun dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup of Pesto sauce
- 1 green pepper diced
- 1/2 cabbage finely chopped
- 1.5 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 tbsp of parsley flakes
- 1/2 tsp of garlic salt
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper and 1/2 tsp cayenne chili
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 to 1 cup of Mexican blended cheese (shredded Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Queso, & Asadero cheese)
- 2 cloves of fresh minced garlic
Stuffed Bell Pepper Preparation:
Choose 6 bell peppers (mix and match colors). Slice the tops of the bell peppers half an inch below the stem and remove the seeds. Keep the bell pepper stem covers off to the side. Brush olive oil inside and all over the bell peppers and arrange them in a deep glass dish. Microwave for 8 to 10 minutes after the filling has been prepared.
For the filling, put all the ingredients above (except the Parmesan cheese, the Mexican blended cheese, & Pesto sauce) in 5 cups of water in a glass bowl and microwave for 20-23 minutes. The filling is ready when the grains are soft and tender. Then mix in the Parmesan cheese, the Mexican blended cheese, & Pesto sauce into the grain mix while it is still warm. (additional salt and roasted garlic for taste).
Stuff the microwaved bell peppers 3/4ths of the way. Then place the stem covers on top of the bell peppers and generously sprinkle olive oil on the whole dish. Cover dish with foil paper. Preheat oven and bake for 50 min. at 350* to 370*.
Garnishing & Presentation:
For presentation place stem cover to the side of the bell pepper. Add cheeses on the top and place one cherry tomato or olive in the center for garnishing. Bake for 10 more minutes in the oven so the cheeses melts and crisps.