With the holiday season fast approaching, I thought I’d start to share a few meatless appetizers and side dishes to take with you to a pot luck or to serve to your guests (or eat for lunch, whatever you’d like!) Stuffed Red Peppers are a great place to start. In an effort to reduce the amount of cheese and eggs used in my meatless endeavors, these are stuffed with a mix of fresh bread crumbs, herbs and cheese.
If you have time and a source of small bell peppers (the multicolored peppers are fun), you could roast them yourself. Rub olive oil all over the peppers. Then roast in a very hot oven (about 450° F) for 30 – 40 minutes or until the peppers soften and begin to blister. Remove the peppers and place in a large mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with kitchen towel and allow them to cool down. When they are cool enough to handle, the skins should be fairly easy to slip off. Cut the tops off, scoop out the seeds and they’re ready to stuff.
You can save yourself a lot of effort by purchasing whole peppers in a can, jar or vacuum pack. The can I used had 8 peppers inside which was more than enough for Rick and I as part of a meal. When preparing these as an appetizer, plan on two to three per guest.
- 8 - 10 small roasted red peppers, left whole if possible; drained
- 1 cup freshly prepared bread crumbs (bread, 2 - 3 teaspoons herbs, about a tablespoon butter or olive oil)
- ¼ cup grated cheese, plus more for topping
- olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400°F
- Prepare the bread crumbs using your favorite herbs, dried or fresh. You could crisp them up in a skillet before stuffing if you'd like.
- Mix in the grated cheese.
- Stuff two - three tablespoons of bread crumbs into each pepper. I like to use a long iced tea spoon for this.
- Arrange the stuffed peppers in an oven proof dish. Drizzle with olive oil and top with any leftover breadcrumbs and a little more cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the peppers are heated through.
You’re not limited to bread crumbs for your stuffed red peppers. Try goat cheese and pine nuts for example, or a slice of any cheese that melts well. A common tapa in Spain is red peppers stuffed with mashed potatoes and tuna or cod. If you’d rather skip the fish, try stuffing with a nice vegetable rice.
Do you have a favorite meatless appetizer? Feel free to share it in our Meatless Mondays link up!
ON TO THE PARTY!
Meatless Mondays was created to inspire people to go without meat one day a week. Click here to read more about it on their website. To that end, I’ve teamed up with Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures and Mary from Mary’s Kitchen to bring you a month long link party dedicated to Meatless Monday offerings. We hope you find something you and your family will love. If you have a meatless recipe you’d like to share, please link up.