The best thing about making these peppers is that you can enjoy them today, put some in the freezer and enjoy them even more on another day. I prepared them before I left on my Mother’s Day trip so Jack would have quick easy meals while I was away. I made a double recipe so that upon our return Joe could take some home and I could unpack, do laundry, sort mail and still enjoy a home-cooked meal with very little effort (toss a salad, open the wine … done). I love these kind of recipes! Stuffed peppers are great any time of the year, rich and hearty in the winter, bright and colorful in the spring. I like to use red, green, yellow and orange all at the same time because it makes such a stunning visual presentation. This is just one version of many that I will be posting. So, stay tuned for more recipes of this delicious little “meal in a cup”
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 eggplant, diced (7 cups)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Italian-style tomatoes, diced
- 6 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained, rinsed, chopped
- 1 cup orzo pasta (dry)
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 green onions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese, (8 oz. diced, plus 8 oz. sliced for the top)
- 6 yellow bell pepper (or color of your choice)
In a large skillet, saute eggplant in olive oil until golden. (Eggplant really soaks up the oil so instead of adding more, I add water as needed 1 tablespoon at a time).
Season the eggplant with the salt.
Add the tomatoes and anchovies, cook 3-4 minutes.
Cook the orzo according to package directions, drain and add to the skillet. Mix in the basil, green onion and fresh parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the diced mozzarella, set aside while you prepare the peppers.
Cut the tops off of each pepper, remove the core and inner white ribbing. Season the inside with salt.
Place the peppers in an ovenproof baking dish, fill each with the orzo stuffing.
Lay a slice of cheese on each filled pepper, replace the tops.
Cover with foil and bake in a 350* oven 50-60 minutes, until peppers are soft and blistered and cheese is melted. If the peppers aren’t blistered enough, remove the foil and place under the broiler … but watch them carefully so they don’t burn.
Note* if you’re going to freeze them, refrigerate overnight so they are completely cooled.