Tomato Stuffed Peppers

Every week, Karin hits the library with the boys and we get new books. It's a time for them to see how important reading is, but also a time for me to explore new cookbooks- new to me, that is! April Bloomfield's "A Girl and her Greens" is a fantastic take on classic recipes using seasonal vegetables. 

We recently had Louie and Regan Colburn over, from Ohana Island Kitchen, and Rob made the best dinner from ingredients from the garden. The standout was the stuffed peppers. We thought it could use more white anchovies, but we say that about most things. Here's the recipe:

  • 8 small red bell peppers, halved, lengthwise, seeded and deribbed. Green stem nubs left intact
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 8 salt-packed, whole anchovies (we used the white anchovies from the shop. we recommend using 16 anchovies, placing two in each pepper instead of one.)
  • 16 large basil leaves, plus extra, torn for finishing
  • 16 small to medium tomatoes, peeled and cored
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, fancy and flaky as possible
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • A healthy drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450F

Find a heavy, enameled baking dish that will fit the peppers snugly and arrange them cut sides up. To each half, add 2 or 3 slices of garlic [2] anchovy fillet, a basil leaf and finally a tomato.

Sprinkle on the salt, add several grindings of pepper, and evenly drizzle the olive oil over everything. Pop the dish in the oven and cook until the edges of the peppers go wrinkly and a bit toasty and the flesh is creamy, 45 minutes to 1 hour. After 20 minutes and every 10 minutes or so thereafter, give the tomatoes a gentle press with the back of a spoon so a little juice squeezes out, then baste the peppers. 

Remove the peppers from the oven and let them rest in the baking dish until they're just a bit warmer than room temperature. Baste them once more, then carefully transfer the peppers to plates or a platter, drizzle on the liquid remaining in the pan and sprinkle on the torn basil.

Serve warm to room temperature.