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 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
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.
Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,
Pattie and Allie