A Peck of Pretty Peppers…

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pretty Peppers. Actually, no, I did on this occasion. Snapped this on a cheap package beano to Icmeler in Southern-ish Turkey a year or so ago. Peppers are sooo good for you. All peppers: long ones, fat ones, sweet ones, hot ones. And versatile: stuff them, pickle them, puree them, chop ’em. And they have the habit of appearing in conveniently price-reduced batches if you shop judiciously (that means corner-shops and markets).

This recipe uses those long thin peppers: they are perfect for stuffing with cheese or other rich food. Red or green are fine – or use banana peppers (which are, astonishingly enough, kind of banana colour).

Cheesy Stuffed Peppers

  • 6 peppers, washed
  • 200g feta cheese or labneh balls
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (1 if you’re using labneh)
  • 1 level teaspoon black pepper
  • big handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • handful of chives (or spring onion tops), chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • squeeze of lemon juice (ie a couple of teaspoons-worth)

Carefully remove the calyces of the peppers and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Next blend the cheese with the remaining ingredients and use a long teaspoon to ram it down inside the peppers. Place the peppers in a small oven dish, propping the heads against the rim of the dish so that the cheese doesn’t melt and run everywhere.
Heat the oven to gas mark mark 5 (190C) and bake the peppers for about twenty minutes or until the flesh softens and starts to darken. Serve as part of a meze spread – or a self-indulgent Winter lunch. Mind you don’t burn your mouth on that hot cheese though…

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