Friday, August 19, 2011

Peppers Stuffed with Summer Squashes and Quinoa

My neighbor, Richard, is growing sweet frying peppers this year. They are similar to Cubanelle peppers, but just a little darker in color. They have a thin skin which makes them ideal for pan frying. We're eating gluten-free these days, so I prepared a filling of zucchini and yellow squash, onions, sunflower seeds and cooked quinoa. I served them over a light, fresh tomato sauce that is so easy to make.

Peppers Stuffed with Summer Squashes and Quinoa
8 long sweet green peppers, or Cubanelle
1.5 cups of cooked quinoa
1 medium (6-9 inch) zucchini, diced
1 medium (6-9 inch) summer squash, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/3 cup/50g of toasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup/60g grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Extra virgin olive oil

Saute the diced onion in about two teaspoons of olive oil until browned. Add the squashes and continue cooking until tender. Remove from the heat and lightly chop the squash.

Add the cooked quinoa and grated cheese, mix well, then add salt and pepper to taste. 

Roast the sunflower seeds over medium heat until golden brown. Mix into the filling.

Tomato Sauce
3 large ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
Olive oil
6-8 fresh basil leaves

Warm the olive oil in a saute pan, add the garlic and brown. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft. Remove from the heat, add the basil and salt and pepper, to taste. Place the cooked tomatoes in a food processor, or blender, and process for about 30 seconds. There's no need to remove the skins as the processor chops them finely and they blend right into the sauce. This would be a great sauce to make with your August tomato harvest. It's quick, easy and it will freeze well.

Slice the tops off the peppers and set them aside. Clean the seed core from the inside of the pepper. If  you run a paring knife around the white core where it attaches to the inside of the pepper, it will come out easily. Take your time, so you don't tear them as these thin skinned peppers are a bit more fragile. Stuff the peppers, then add a few teaspoons of olive oil to your saute pan and heat. Cook over medium heat until golden brown. If the filling starts to come out a little just push it back in with a spoon. I sauteed the tops and used them as a garnish when I plated the peppers.

Pour a spoonful of tomato sauce on your plate, add the peppers and tops, then sprinkle with your favorite grated cheese. Richard's garden on a plate...delicious!

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