Today I’ve got a bright, colourful and versatile meal for your next lunch or light dinnertime, brimming with flavour, but which is completely customisable to suit what you’ve got in your fridge or larder.
This Vegetarian Mushroom Stuffed Pepper recipe came about a few months back, when the country was in total lockdown. Only wanting to shop once a week, my stocks were very low. After a rummage in the fridge and larder and only a few ingredients available to me, I hatched a plan for our evening meal.
As I’ve already mentioned, this dish is totally adaptable, I have since stuffed these peppers with chickpeas, diced courgettes and aubergines. For a non veggie version, I’ve added a slice of N’djua sausage to the sauce for an extra pop of flavour and spice. Not really something you can find easily in the supermarket (though you do sometimes get lucky on the deli counter). A good N’duja sausage can of course be found in an Italian deli. For those of you who live local to me, you can buy fantastic ones from Italian Continental Stores. I slice it and then freeze to use as and when the mood takes me. I cannot stress enough, please use good quality tinned tomatoes, it makes a huge difference to the end result. I particularly like Mutti’s polpa finely chopped tomatoes.
This is a really tasty, versatile meal, summer or winter. Serve with good crusty sourdough bread, a green salad and optional of course, a nicely chilled bottle of white wine. Cheers!
Vegetarian Mushroom Stuffed Peppers
- 4 medium red peppers cut in half, deseeded, stalks left intact
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 210 g chestnut mushrooms
- 210 g portobello mushrooms
- 3 Tbls pine kernels toasted
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1.5 tns finely chopped tomatoes I used Mutti
- ¼ tsp Aleppo pepper
- 1 ball mozzarella
- 1 handful parsley
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Heat the oven to 200°C fan. Place the peppers on a baking tray and drizzle with a little oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the peppers are slightly blackened.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan then add the onions, cook on a medium heat without colour until soft and translucent. Increase the heat and add the chopped mushrooms. Cook until all the water from the mushrooms has evaporated. Tip out onto a plate and then return the pan to the heat, add a little more oil. Now add the remaining sliced mushrooms, cook over a high heat until all the water has evaporated and the mushrooms are nicely browned. Now return the chopped mushroom mix to the pan and add the garlic and Aleppo pepper. Cook on medium for a couple of minutes. Now add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium for 5-8 minutes, the pan is shallow so the sauce will reduce quite quickly. Remove from the heat and add the pine kernels.
- When the peppers are ready, spoon the mushroom filling into the peppers. Tear the mozzarella and place a little on each pepper. Return to the oven and bake for a further 10-15 minutes, or until the mozzarella is bubbling and golden brown.
- Serve hot or warm with a sprinkling of chopped parsley, a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Serve with a fresh green salad and crusty bread for dunking.
- substitute the mozzarella for ricotta for an even healthier option.
- filling options: chickpeas, haricot beans, sauteed diced courgettes & aubergine, tofu.
If you like this recipe you may like to try this Stuffed Aubergine with Olive Tapenade