Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cheesy Roasted Sweet Red Peppers & Tomatoes with Brown Rice

Rachel Roddy writes about Italian cooking beautifully. Her style caresses as it is easy to imagine yourself in her Roman kitchen with all those delicious smells wafting around you, like a comforting aura. And she knows her peppers. Slowly roasted, they are redolent with basil, tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. My serving them over a bed of brown rice and topping with Grana Padano shavings provided a delicious supper.

Peppers, tomatoes & basil are from our potager

Despite our splendid Corno di Toro Rosso (bull horn) sweet red peppers having been sowed indoors February to get an early start, there is a good number which yet have not turned completely red. As nightly temperatures are cool though the days are still sunny and warm, the plants have been covered in horticultural fleece for protection against the cold. Hopefully all of them will have time to mature.

Basic information and ingredients are in bold. Preheat oven to 205 degrees C/400 degrees F. For two ample servings, rinse six medium Corno di Toro Rosso (or 3 large red bell peppers) and 6 small tomatoes.

For a decorative touch, the green stems can be left on. Split each pepper in half. Remove seeds and white membranes.

In September, a pot of basil was brought in from the patio to reside on a sunny windowsill

Simmer the tomatoes for a couple minutes and then dunk them in cold water. Lightly core and slip off the skins.

Put the peppers cut-side-up in a baking dish lightly coated with olive oil. Peel and thinly slice two fat garlic cloves. Cut the tomatoes in half. Pluck about 36 small leaves from a bunch of basil. Salt the halves, distribute equally the basil, garlic, and the tomatoes. Salt again. Pour a total of 50 ml/2 fluid oz of olive oil into the hollows of the peppers.

Roast for about thirty minutes. Lower temperature to 170 degrees C/335 degrees F for another 30 minutes. If peppers are thick, then more time may be needed. Lift peppers onto a plate and arrange several Grana Padano shavings in each half.

Stir in two cups (total of 473 ml/16 fluid oz) of cooked rice in the roasting pan. Mix the rice well with the drippings.

Mound the rice and cover with the peppers.

The peppers delighted with their gooeyness, jam-like sweetness, and charred edges.

À la prochaine!

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