September 9th, 2014

Risotto Stuffed Italian Sweet Peppers

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Risotto Stuffed Italian Sweet Peppers

I know risotto stuffed peppers sounds complicated, but trust me it isn’t. A simple risotto is easy to pull off and while it’s cooking the peppers roast and soften in the oven. When the risotto is ready fill the pepper halves, grate extra cheese over the top and serve. Easy right? Risotto used to sound really complicated to me, but once I realized it’s just a matter of getting the ingredients ready and lined up and making sure you can stay near the stove for 20 minutes it’s just like any other meal. If you’ve never made risotto, watch our quick video!

I often shy away from roasted pepper anything, because it feels over done, but every time I try one of our Italian Sweet Peppers or vine ripened yellow peppers it’s the best pepper I’ve ever had. They are so sweet and flavorful! Unlike any other peppers in my opinion. Another tip I learned working at a natural market is to slice peppers in half for stuffing. The presentation is beautiful, and you won’t need as many peppers to feed a group.

Start by carefully slicing the peppers in half lengthwise. Try to follow their shape so you have two similar looking pieces. Leave the stems on, this well help them hold their shape. Carefully remove the seeds and ribs. Place cut side down on an oiled baking sheet, drizzle with salt and pepper. Roast them for about 10 minutes, you want the to soften but keep their shape.

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Measure out all of the ingredients for the risotto before you start cooking it. Finely grated parmesan, butter, dry white wine (we used a Traminette from Bet the Farm, one of our pick-up sites!). Set everything next to the stove, get out a pan with tall sides for cooking and a pan for heating the stock. The stock simmers the whole time on the back burner, and is added in half cups to the pan.

Risotto Stuffed Red Peppers

The basic steps of risotto are to sauté the onions and garlic with butter and a splash of olive oil, add the rice and toast until the grains are shiny, then add the wine and cook until absorbed. The simmering stock is added one ladleful at a time, stir frequently until the stock is completely absorbed before adding the next ladleful. When the rice is al dente – it should still have a little bite too it, remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese. Add salt and pepper. Serve right away (try to stop yourself from eating it straight out of the pan). I feel like there a few misconceptions about risotto, one that’s it’s a lot of work and two that it’s full of butter and cheese. A lot of the creaminess comes from the the starch in the rice, and you can reduce the butter and cheese if you prefer. When the risotto is ready carefully spoon into the cooked peppers, top with extra grated parmesan and serve.

Risotto Stuffed Red Peppers

Risotto Stuffed Italian Sweet Peppers

2 Italian Sweet Peppers or Bell Peppers
1/2 red or yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated parmesan
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400F. Slice peppers in half lengthwise, leaving stems attached. Carefully remove stems and ribs. Oil a baking sheet, and place peppers cut side down on the sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Bake for ten minutes, until peppers are softened, but still hold their shape a bit.

Set-up. Bring chicken or vegetable stock to a simmer on the back burner.  Keep simmering over medium low heat throughout cooking time.  Place pan to cook risotto on burner directly in front of stock.  Measure remaining ingredients and line up next to stove. (Rice, wine, onion, garlic, grated cheese, butter)

Melt  1 tablespoon of the butter and the olive oil over medium heat.  Saute onion and garlic until translucent.  Add dry rice and toast in the pan until shiny, stirring gently. Add wine and gently stir until all the wine is absorbed.  Once wine is absorbed, add stock half a cup at a time, gently stirring until each cup is absorbed. You might not use all of the liquid, if it seems like you won’t have enough stock add water to the pan. When stock is totally absorbed and rice is al dente, remove from heat.  Add cheese and remaining butter, then season with salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon risotto into cooked peppers and serve.

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