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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Red Peppers Stuffed with Orzo and Feta Cheese



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Our weather continues to be uncharacteristically warm and Bob has been uncharacteristically hungry. Despite the heat, he's been felling trees and that kind of work demands calories to stoke the fire. I decided to do a mini Mediterranean feast for his supper tonight. I pan grilled double cut lamb chops and served them with an Israeli salad and orzo stuffed peppers that are reminiscent of those served in the Greek isles. The peppers are lovely and add great color to the table. While they take time to cook, they are really easy to do and they are a relative bargain at this time of year. I can't help but add they would also be wonderful entree for Meatless Monday. Sweet peppers are slowly making their way to our green markets and in another month we'll be able to buy them four to the dollar. Even now they are a bargain when compared to their winter prices. I had six gorgeous bright red bell peppers that needed attention and this dish was a perfect way to enjoy their luscious summer flavor. The recipe on which the peppers are based was developed by Gordon Hamersley for Fine Cooking Magazine over a decade ago. I keep very few recipes for that length of time, so you know in my book it's a keeper. This is one of those recipes I play with. I suspect you will to. There are times I add pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes to the mix, and others where green olives, raisins and orange zest best suit my fancy of the day. Now, I don't mean to shock you, but I've even been known to follow the recipe exactly as it's was written. If you don't have or like kale, substitute spinach or arugula. If you can't use wine, use water or vegetable stock. I use a white French vermouth to make mine, hearkening back to the days when Julia Child suggested using a good vermouth in place of a mediocre white wine for cooking. I really hope you'll try the peppers. You really can't go wrong. Here's the recipe.

Red Peppers Stuffed with Orzo and Feta Cheese...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Gordon Hamersley

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
1 medium red onion, cut into large dice
2-1/2 ounces kale, washed and torn into bite-size pieces (2 cups lightly packed)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2/3 cups cooked orzo, cooled (from 3/4 cup raw orzo)
Grated zest from 1/2 lemon
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
1/4 pound feta cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
8 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
6 medium red bell peppers
1-1/2 cups dry white wine or water

Directions:
1) Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet until moderately hot. Add red onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until soft, about 5 minutes.. Add kale and cook, stirring often, until wilted and tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2) Combine onion and kale with the orzo, lemon zest, lemon juice, feta cheese, oregano, thyme, parsley, and olives in a large bowl. Toss gently until combined and season with salt and pepper.
3) Slice off top 1/2 inch of each pepper and reserve. With a paring knife, cut away ribs and discard. Turn pepper upside down and pat it to get all the seeds to fall out. Divide orzo filling among peppers. Replace top of each pepper.
4) Place peppers in a medium baking dish and sprinkle them with reserved 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season again with salt and pepper. Pour wine in pan. Bake until peppers are very tender and slightly blackened on top, about 1-1/2 hours. Yield: 6 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Stuffed Green Peppers: Healthy and Delicious - Zesty Flavors
Stuffed Peppers - I Eat Trees
Classic Stuffed Peppers - What's Cookin Chicago
Indian Stuffed Bell Peppers - Sugar Pies
Mediterranean Style Stuffed Peppers - Elle's New England Kitchen
Blast of Color Mexican Stuffed Peppers - Mother Rimmy's Cooking Light Done Right

79 comments:

sara said...

Gorgeous picture! (as always!)

Sounds like a delicious dinner.

Alea said...

The stuffed peppers look divine! I love flexible recipes; they provide "so much scope for the imagination".

jelena said...

we have a great tradition of stuffing peppers here, mostly stick to ground beef, but I also use all kinds of ingredients...beautiful combination

Jess @ Bakericious said...

this dish looks so beautiful

MaryMoh said...

This is such a beautiful and healthy starter. I can even have it for lunch. It must be fun making them. Thanks very much for sharing. Have a nice day. Mary

3 hungry tummies said...

I made some stuffed capsicums with rice the other day, orzo is great substitute for rice!

Priya said...

Beautiful and absolutely tempting dish..

Debinhawaii said...

Your peppers look so perfect and colorful. I love stuffed peppers--very hearty & healthy. ;-)

Ana Powell said...

AWESOME click, your work is so professional.
Lovely red peppers dish ♥

Sage said...

A new way for me to use Orzo!
Your photos are fantastic and love that recipe.
Rita

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Great picture! Stuffed peppers have been on my mind, and I think they'll be on the menu this weekend too!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

beautiful pictures and I bet it tasted wonderful too!

From the Kitchen said...

Delicious sounding and lovely to look upon! We have lots of peppers at the farmers' market these days. Like tomatoes, I can't help but come home with armloads so I'm always happy for more ways in which to enjoy them. Thanks!!

Best,
Bonnie

The Blonde Duck said...

I love stuffed peppers!

Martha said...

Sounds like a lovely dinner -- think the peppers would make a good lunch as well.

Allie and Pattie said...

These look wonderful! (as always) I have adapted a similar recipe from Giada- I think I may have posted it a while back- and it's a family favorite. Red peppers are normally so pricey here that we enjoy them as much as we can this time of year!
xoxo Pattie

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Sounds really yummy, will try that with my green ones from the garden. Diane

Foodessa said...

Mary...stuffed peppers are going to be made soon, especially since I know the abundance of these red veggie joys will be at my doorstep at any moment ;o)

I enjoy the fact that you know how to changing things up a little...I'd probably use 'Sherry' instead of the white wine...how's that for stirring things up. Love your dish...very tasty and satisfying ;o)

Ciao for now and have a fabulous day,
Claudia

scrambledhenfruit said...

The ripe peppers that are abundant at this time of year are my favorites- the green ones, I don't tolerate too well. All of the flavors in this sound lovely. I love Orzo but just don't think about using it. (And there the lonely Orzo sits in my cupboard, patiently waiting for Mary to provide a recipe.) My Orzo thanks you- or does it? Thanks for sharing :)

Cathy said...

What a beautiful dish, Mary. Bob's dinner sounds wonderful.

Jenn said...

When I was a kid, every time my mom would make stuffed peppers, I would rather go to my room then eat. lol These are definitely not my mother's stuffed peppers! :) I love orzo, I love red peppers (now)...this sounds wonderful!

The Empress said...

I'll bet these are just wonderful! I never thought of using red peppers. What a colorful look.

I have always used green,but I'm going to try the red pepper now. It'll be a totally different taste.

Tasha said...

What a nice departure from the typical rice and meat stuffed pepper. This version sounds wonderful and I love its versatility!

PeggyR said...

I am not a pepper fan, but Norm is and hopefully later on when he swallows better I can make these for him.

Patsyk said...

I imagine they must be as tasty as they look! I love stuffed peppers, but rarely make them.

Pondside said...

These look delicious. I have everything but the kale and olives, so it would be easy to make these this week. They are a far cry from my meatloaf-like stuffing!

StephenC said...

Stuffed peppers are one of those things I had a lot of when growing up. Haven't made any for quite a while. Need to change that. By the way, everytime I come to your site I am struck by that lovely picture at the top of the page!

bellini valli said...

This is such a light summery meal Mary. A lovely idea.

Big Dude said...

That's a great sonding pepper dish.

ButterYum said...

What an inviting presentation. Bravo!

Jennifurla said...

Gorgeous...sad to have to eat them...ok not really I would love to eat one

Katerina said...

I love gemista (this is their Greek name). They are always connected with summer memories. I love yours too.

Jess--Sugar High said...

The Man of the house would go bonkers if he caught a glimpse of this recipe. We've been wanting to make stuffed peppers for a long while now. You just might have given me the final kick in the butt to finally do it!
Thanks for sharing, it looks delish!

high low said...

Love stuffed peppers (I've made them with couscous and feta - http://www.highlowfooddrink.com/2009/10/stuffed-bell-peppers-with-couscous-feta.html ). Yours look fantastic and perfect for a hearty lunch!

Sushma Mallya said...

Such a beautiful stuffed peppers, very nice stuffing too...

Pam said...

Mary, that's a perfect summer time dish and you did it up beautifully! I will definitely be making stuffed peppers soon after seeing this!

Kamalika said...

commenting after a long gap....How are you??lovely dish.....

Pam said...

Bookmarked! I love this recipe.

Cheryl said...

YUMMY I just so happen to have everything needed to make this! Thanks for sharing!

Srivalli said...

Mary, your blog sure has many perfect bites of food pictures!..Each of the picture looks so inviting..red peppers look so bright..

Nina Timm said...

Yikes, those peppers almost look like they're made of plastic. Awesome produce turned into an awesome meal!

baking.serendipity said...

Looks delicious! I tried cooking stuffed peppers on the grill when the weather was too warm for the oven, and they turned out great!

Annie said...

Mari I enjoy your post so much!!!
The stuffed peppers are delicious and so colorful, and with the lamb chops just great.

Have a nice day

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I know the peppers are on the way at the farm, and I've been hunting for a good stuffed pepper recipe. And this one uses kale, too! I'm ready now for the bumper crop of peppers!

Adelina said...

stunning shot and excellent recipe Love the flavours of bell peppers in season- and the story behind your recipe is as usual, very captivating!

Federica said...

domani sono a pranzo da te!!!:-)))
mi piace moltissimo questa ricetta!!bravissima come sempre!!ciao!

flying eagle woman said...

Can I please come to visit? I've never had lamb before...couldn't think I'd like it but you make it sound delushcious! THANKS FOR YET ANOTHER AMAZING RECIPE!
Shawna

DailyChef said...

Your picture looks too good to be real. But of course, I shouldn't underestimate you!

tasteofbeirut said...

What a beautiful photo! The idea of stuffing these peppers with orzo and feta and kale sounds excellent!

Jen_from_NJ said...

I adore this idea and will be trying it as soon as I can get my hands on some fresh red peppers. I love the Kalamatas and feta! The kale sounds like a great way to up the nutritional value too.

redmenace said...

These look delicious and perfect to satisfy the hearty appetite of someone who fells trees. My goodness! Love the photos too. Just perfect!

Ginny said...

Welcome to my blog, Mary!! I must admit that I've never seen anyone with as many followers as you, how do you find the time to find new blogs and comment on them? I have a new follower that just signed on with me, #36, I believe. I don't think this person has ever commented and I can't find them. Might you be the mystery follower? I see that we like quite a few of the same movies, Moonstruck and Shadowlands included. I'm not big on fancy food, and my favorite meal is soup. Your recipes look just delightful! And your pictures are so good, they show the food in detail. What state do you live in? I am signing up to follow you, feel free to e-mail me, as I do like to get to know my blog friends. Blessings, Ginny

M. said...

this looks gorgeous!!!
I just made stuffed peppers last week for the first time and were delicious, I will try your recipe next time:)

RamblingTart said...

HEAVENLY, Mary!! And so wonderfully pretty and colorful and cheery. :-) Mmm. I had bad experiences with stuffed peppers growing up - blechy ones my neighbor lady made - but I am more than willing to dig into these babies. :-)

Wendy@The Omnivorous Bear said...

Fantastic picture! Strangely, I have been concentrating on red peppers, too! Must try your recipe - thanks for inspiration!

The Words Crafter said...

I have never been able to make stuffed peppers!!! My sister has this talent...and I've never had them like this. These look fantastic. I'm going to share this recipe with a lady I work with, she's going to love it!

Suman Singh said...

WOW, those looks amazing..sounds like a wonderful dinner to me.

12th Man Training Table said...

obtw, your hawaiian banana bread was a huge hit last week!

Faith said...

What a beautiful new twist on stuffed peppers! Lovely use for orzo too, which is something I don't make often enough!

nancy at good food matters said...

You're so right---stuffed summer bell peppers, especially those reds, bring such lovely color to the table. I have used either orzo or Israeli couscous with a variety of veggies to stuff peppers---and I really like your addition of kale a lot..Thanks for some excellent ideas!

Jojo said...

Wow! Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! Your blog is gorgeous and I feel honored by your virtual presence!!!

PranisKitchen said...

i don't have any words.. omg how perfectly made stuffed peppers.. what a beautiful pic..

Annalisa said...

I love filled pepper!
I fill them with rice and ham, but your recipe with feta looks sooo good!
Thanks for stopping by my blog,
your comments are so precious!
Love,
Annalisa

Susi said...

Stuffed peppers are so delicious in the summer time and I love how you made them Greek flavored! This sounds like a winner my family would enjoy!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

My husband would LOVE this dish! I see so many great recipes that I would love to try! I'm going to add you to my list of favorites! ♥

Sweet and Savory said...

I like the additon of the feta cheese. That has to put the finishing touches on the stuffed peppers.

Our peppers are still expensive and I doubt, they will come down. We used to grow them and that was convenient and cheap but now, it is tomatoes. They are the best tomatoes around. I do miss my big garden.

Kim said...

First I want to tell you that your picture of these peppers is gorgeous! I love that you placed the tops back on them.
Secondly, I read a lot about trying vermouth and I'm glad you mentioned that in your post. I definitely want to buy some and give it a try.
Sounds like you made quite a feast for your husband. He is a lucky man!

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

This recipe looks like a keeper.

Carmen

Joanne said...

God those peppers are beautiful! That picture has me hypnotized.

Country Dreaming said...

Thanks for coming by--Glad you enjoyed the visit.
Please come again andif you'd like join the fun.
Love new readers and followers.
See you soon.

Melinda

♥¸¸.•*¨Skip to Malou¨¨*•.¸¸♥¸ said...

the red peppers looks wicked... even if I never had them, its whispering to my ear :come get me... haha.. this one i have to try. I never really had them yet!

Louise said...

Stuffed peppers remind me of my mom... she always made them. seriously where do you find the time to blog so often and so well. glad you do!

Kristen said...

Thank you for adding all of the variations to this delicious sounding recipe. Your photo is so vibrant.

Katherine Aucoin said...

I love the freshness of this salad and the combination of so many herbs...what a taste sensation and a lovely story, Mary!

Sanyukta Gour(Bayes) said...

looks fantabulous and amazing mary..drooling dish ..wht a tempting pic..love peppers....love and happy to follow u >>>>seeing ur patience and hardwork u put in cooking...cute n colorful

Heather said...

Yum. I am all over this recipe.

Mags said...

First of all, what a fantastic photo.

And... I LOVE stuffed red peppers. Ours aren't quite ready from our garden, but when they are, I'm stuffing the heck out of them!

Eliana said...

What an amazing photo. And I'm loving all the wonderful flavors in this recipe.

Sasha said...

Wow. This sounds and looks amazing. I'm going to bookmark this recipe.

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