ceramic plate from Fifty One and a Half
Have you seen these little mini peppers that the grocery stores are stocking now? Well, I've become a big fan of these and I always have a bag in the fridge. They make the nicest little appetizers. I even like them better than the large bell peppers for stir fries. But one of the best things to do with them is to cut them in half, stuff them and bake or grill them.
I use all kinds of toppings for these peppers. Sometimes I just use a mixture of cheddar cheese and monterey jack cheese and bake them. For this recipe, I'm making a bread crumb mixture with cheese and herbs and a little lemon zest. I'm using panko bread crumbs because they stay crunchy, but you can any kind of bread crumbs you like. Panko bread crumbs are available in most grocery stores, in the Asian section, so look for them. You can also mix them in with other kinds of bread crumbs for a little bit crunchier texture.
Stuffed Mini Peppers
for a printable recipe click here
makes 32 mini servings
Variations: I like to also stuff these little peppers sometimes with a mixture of sharp cheddar cheese and pepper jack cheese. You can also add little bacon bits. The possibilities are endless. I also like to put these on the grill for a smoky flavor. And you can make these up ahead of time, stick them in the fridge and then just cook them when you're ready.
- 16 mini sweet peppers
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided (I also like to use Montreal Steak Seasoning instead of pepper. It's my favorite seasoning)
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt, divided
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped finely
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoons (scant) cayenne pepper
- 1 lemon, zested
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
slice the peppers on the "tall" side, so they will lie flat
Line a large rimmed baking pan with heavy duty foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the peppers in half so they will lay flat. Look at the pepper and you will see how to slice it so there are two flatter halves rather than two halves that are curved. Most of the peppers are not perfectly round, so they will have a flatter side. Lay the peppers on the sheet, cut side up. Season the insides of the peppers with ¼ teaspoon of the sea salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper.
Mix the breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, onion and garlic powders, the remainder of the salt and pepper, the cayenne pepper and the lemon zest together in a bowl. Toss thoroughly. Fill the peppers with a little of this mixture and then drizzle the olive oil over the peppers. (If you are making these ahead of time, just cover with some plastic wrap and put them in the fridge until you're ready to cook them.)
Roast for 15 - 20 minutes, until the peppers are soft and the breadcrumb mixture is turning slightly golden.