A Taste of Summer in Winter: Polenta-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Have you ever accidentally bought an ingredient, forgot that you did, and then got more of it? I did that this past week with red bell peppers. Which I love, but there is only one of me, and there were 3 of them. So naturally this week, I needed to make a bell pepper-based recipe, and I was thinking stuffed, but i wasn’t sure with what. While I was at my neighborhood bar, reading and having a glass of wine, I realized that clearly it should be polenta. Everything just kinda fell into place after that. This is a fairly summer-y recipe but since the high was 25 degrees outside, I needed a little summer.

polenta bell pepper

2 large red bell peppers
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup polenta
3-4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 onion, chopped
3-4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
grated strong cheese
olive oil

Cut the bell peppers in half, rub with olive oil, and roast at 400 for 20 minutes, or until they are soft, but still hold their shape. In the meantime, saute the onions and garlic and set aside. Boil the vegetable broth and add the polenta, stirring continuously and breaking up any lumps until it is thick and smooth. Add the onions, garlic, parsley, and tomatoes to the polenta and mix thoroughly. Fill the bell pepper halves with the polenta mixture, and top with a strong cheese – I used parrano. Bake at 350 until the cheese is melted and ideally beginning to brown.

The result. Good stuff, man. Good stuff. A slightly more time-consuming recipe than a weekday night would prefer, but balanced, filling, and ripe for plenty of variations. I had this with a nice malbec, but it would go equally well with white wine I think. Don’t bother with beer for this one though, its better to go with wine. Song of the week: Pina Colada in a Pint Glass by Gaelic Storm. Meshes perfectly with my mood this week – even though I don’t like pina coladas. I really wish I was on a tropical island somewhere rather than in the icy/cold/snow right now too.

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