ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Monday, May 24, 2010

Meatless Monday After a Farmer's Market Weekend :)

Buon Lunedi!! 

or Happy Monday!!

I had planned to do a post about our local Farmer's Markets full of pictures to show you the beautiful abundance we enjoy here in NC. 

The best laid plans.....

That post will have to wait- we've been looking at this for 3 days

Okay, so I just realized you really can't tell in this picture, but trust me- it's been raining.

 And raining. 

And raining some more.

I did go to the market, but didn't think you'd all be too enthralled with pictures of a sopping wet, drippy blogger trying to convince some sopping wet, drippy vendors to smile pretty. They were all great sports though and still managed to bring some beautiful offerings to our market. 

This week for a Meatless Monday dinner, I'm adapting a recipe from Giada. I've found, after some browsing of her recipes, that many are very similar to dishes I grew up with. For basic daily cooking, I think many are quite good, though I always tend to adapt to the ways of my own Nonnas or the preferences of my family.
           Now,  though the idea of Meatless Mondays really appeals to me as a way to be healthier and minimize our footprint on this beautiful Earth of ours, it's a pretty hard sell in my house. I have an Irishman who is the King of the Carnivores and getting any vegetable into my two youngest boys requires nothing less than an Act of God. Allie is going to her very first concert tonight (VERY well- chaperoned by a parent I trust, but I'll still be pacing till she's home) and so she'll be eating fast food somewhere.

Soooo... this meal will be heartily enjoyed by me and my parents and the rest of them can deal with leftovers

So there

This lovely dish makes use of the zucchini, beautiful, long, red sweet peppers, and mint I got at the market and some wonderful Asiago cheese from A Southern Season along with fresh pesto made from garden basil. The mint is a very northern Italian addition and I added a spoonful of my fresh pesto and just a bit of hot pepper for a little added zip. 

This can be served warm or at room temperature, but I will admit to also having served it cold as a side to a wonderful summer cook-out.

Orzo Stuffed Peppers
adapted from a recipe by Giada DeLaurentis

1 (28-ounce) can Italian tomatoes
2 zucchini, grated
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmeggiano Reggiano
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 finely minced jalapeno pepper (OPTIONAL)
1 Tblsp. prepared pesto
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups orzo 
6 sweet bell peppers (red or yellow)
some fresh grated Asiago cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and break apart using a pair of kitchen shears or your fingers. Add the zucchini, mint, cheese, olive oil, garlic, pesto, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth and wine to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the orzo and cook for 4 minutes. The orzo should be only partially cooked. Use a fine mesh sieve to transfer the orzo to the larg  e bowl with the other vegetables. Stir the orzo into the vegetable mix to combine. Transfer the warm chicken broth mixture to a 3-quart baking dish.
Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all ribs and seeds. Place the peppers in the baking dish with the warm chicken broth. Spoon the orzo mixture into the peppers. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the top of each pepper with Asiago cheese and continue baking until the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer the orzo stuffed pepper to a serving plate. Serve with a nice crusty Italian loaf.

As Always,

Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,

Pattie and Allie


  1. Mmmm... we love meatless meals. Well, I do, anyway. On Saturday, we had Greek food for lunch -- no meat. And then for supper at the beach house, I roasted asparagus and new potatoes, and we paired that with fresh local strawberries, crusty rolls, and local goat cheeses. Afterward, Howard said, "OH NO! I haven't had any MEAT today!"

    And he had to admit he had not missed it.

    This looks wonderful, as do ALL the recipes you post. You really should compile a cookbook.

  2. PS ... I think soggy farmers would have made for a lovely blog post! :-)

  3. Pattie - I am definitely making these soon! I hardly ever cook with meat for myself, so these will be perfect. And I just potted up my herbs to put outside and have mint!

  4. Looks beautiful! Sounds delicious! I'll look forward to your Farmer's Market post - I did a Farmer's Market post on my gardening/life in a MW city blog - we attended the market last Saturday. There were many great things to buy - not just edible, plus lots of cute dogs with their "moms" and "dads." Much fun!

  5. Oh, this looks wonderful, Pattie! Absolutely delicious! I'll be right over... ;-)


    Sheila :-)

  6. We love to have a few meatless dinners every week Pattie. I love the way you cut the peppers on the horizontal and stuffed them that way.

    Hope Allie had a good time at her concert!

    ♥ Pat

  7. Bonjour Pattie and Allie,
    This looks wonderful, beautifully presented. This is Meatless Monday, hopefully you'll have a rainless Tuesday for a change!

  8. Pattie, your peppers look delicious and are perfect for Meatless Monday. I hope you are enjoying the day. Blessings...Mary

  9. Oh my! Now I am starving after reading (and printing!) this wonderful recipe! Thanks for the post!
    Another NC girl!

  10. What a beautifully plated dish and wonderful-sounding recipe, Pattie. I love the whole meatless Monday concept!

  11. Hi Pattie, This dish looks so so beautiful and elegant with your glass serving dish and white drawn work runner , just gorgeous!We don't eat meat on Friday's for religious reasons and this looks like something special to try. Thank you.~Emelia~

  12. now there is a veggie dish that even this 1/2 irishwoman would eat1

  13. I ate a big lunch today so I was trying to skip dinner! It's hard not to want to go make a meal after reading the recipe and seeing your pictures!!!

  14. I think I figured out why I love your recipes so much...when Mary (Tony's mom) passed away, she took many of her recipes to heaven with her! This recipe reminds me of her! Thank you!! I am going to make this as a surprise for Tony's Birthday! You are the best :)

  15. Oh my this looks so yummy and delightful! Stop by when you have a moment.

  16. Pattie, This dish is so beautifully presented. And anything with pesto in it gets my attention. And adding mint sound so very interesting. I am such a carnivor, but I should try to eat more meatless meals.

  17. two words: YUM YUM, two more words: Where's Mine?

  18. Im having company this weekend....and will be making this with a green salad. YUM. Light. Wonderful! Thanks friend!

  19. Those peppers look fabulously delicious!! I love Giada. I love Italian food. We try to eat meatless several times a week. I could happily go vegetarian except for my carnivore husband! xxoo

  20. This sounds great! I cook meatless quite a bit and I know that we would enjoy this recipe. I'm going to save it for later in the summer when I have peppers coming out my ears.

    I'm jealous that you can pop into A Southern Season any old time you want to go. I love that store!

  21. I love this idea of having a meatless Monday. I love it even more knowing that I could make something this yummy! Thanks for the recipe.

    Best wishes,

  22. I have been intrigued by some orzo stuffed peppers I have seen lately on the net. They have been Greek-inspired but I am sure a little Italian would be just as delightful.



  23. looks great! i love stuffed peppers.

  24. Pattie I 'm a carnivore, but would not mind spending the rest of my life being an Italian vegetarian!!! :)


  25. Oh Pattie, I am so inviting myself to your home for a meatless monday meal with you and your parents if I am ever in NC. My inlaws own a place in Brevard. Is that too far from you? :)

  26. ...this looks interesting, never made in this way and I love vegetables. Thanks for sharing it, Ciao! Anna

  27. Those stuffed peppers look so delicious. I would weigh 500 lbs if I lived near you , cause of course I'd be inviting myself over for dinner:)
    RAIN, I thought it would never end. The landscapers finally got tired of waiting- put on rain slickers and planted my shrubs //trees and spread 65 bags of mulch.. I served warm apple muffins and hot coffee when they got done and paid them a little extra.. I dont think we'll be having a drought in NC this year. do you:)


  28. I'm trying this recipe for sure, Pattie. I can't wait to see photos of your farmers market. When the rain stops that is.


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