I have a confession I need to make. You see, I have been doing a lot of cooking over the past month or so, and not a whole lot of blogging about it. And I feel bad, because there has been a lot of good food happening. There have been BBQ's with kebabs, coleslaws, and bacon wrapped jalapenos. There was a party for 30 or so people which involved lots and lots of massive amounts of tri tip and chicken and salads. Then there have been desserts, from massive hummingbird cakes, to blackberry bars topped with a delicious crumble, to one of my most favorite cupcake recipes ever (I'll give you a hint, it's one of the cupcakes mentioned in this post). There has also been my new found obsession/hobby with canning, which has so far resulted in 3 types of jam, brandied vanilla peaches, and spicy dill pickles.
All this food has been made and consumed and here I have barely said a peep about it. There are all the typical excuses: my job has been busy, photos either are forgotten to be taken, or turn out awful, writer's block, and the fact that even though the sun is out late, summer days have a nasty habit of slipping by faster than you can catch them. I also have a tendency to cram as many activities as possible into each day, which means I'm not actually getting to relax and enjoy the magic that is summer. I need to chill out a bit, read some books, lay in a hammock and drink iced tea, take a nap or two, and spend some quality time in my vegetable garden, which is where these beauties came from.
And hopefully in the midst of all this relaxing, I will be able to start posting a bit more, because I've got lots of great food and recipes to share with you all. For starters, these stuffed grilled peppers which you absolutely have to make the next time you fire up the grill. There's nothing I like more than cooking outside when the weather is nice, and I'm constantly looking for good grilling recipes so we don't always eat the same thing over and over.
What is so great about these peppers is that you could make them over and over and not get sick of them, because there are so many different variations that could be made. The filling is a great way to use up whatever veggies and herbs you might have laying around. I had squash from the garden, some corn from the farmer's market, a tomato, and some red onion. The veggies get sauteed for a bit before being mixed with breadcrumbs and herbs and then they are stuffed inside bell pepper halves. After some quality time on the grill, the peppers are soft and sweet with that great flavor that you can only get from grilling.
These are great for entertaining as they can easily be prepared ahead of time, and they are so quick to put together that they make a great easy weeknight meal. I like them so much, I'm even planning on preparing them ahead of time and taking them on a camping trip next month. They are the perfect side dish for summer, as they fulfill the qualities of summer food that appeal to me most. Not too heavy, easy to make, and highlight the deliciousness that comes from the summer bounty of fresh vegetables. I felt this recipe was a real winner, and I'm so happy that I've gotten the chance to share it with y'all. Hopefully there will be more of that sharing to come this summer.
Grilled Stuffed Bell Peppers
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
3 medium red or orange bell peppers
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium sized squash, diced
3 ears of corn, shucked, and kernels cut off
1 medium tomato, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley and basil)
¼ cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
If using a charcoal grill, prepare and light the coals.
Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise right through the stem, leaving a bit of stem attached to each half. Cut out the cores, seeds, and ribs from the interiors of the peppers, leaving the stem intact. Sprinkle the insides of the peppers with salt and pepper.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until almost tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and squash. Saute the vegetables until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the corn and tomato and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in herbs, breadcrumbs, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the breadcrumbs soak up most of the liquid in the pan (just a minute or two more). Remove from the heat and spoon the filling equally into the pepper cavities.
When the grill is ready, put the stuffed peppers on and cover. Cook until just tender 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the peppers and sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve.