Greetings from a very hot south of France. We’re in the middle of what the French call a canicule – heatwave. I’ve still got a few weeks until my official “holiday” time, but summer is definitely in full-swing everywhere along the Côte d’Azur. And securing a spot on the beach anytime after 9am is almost impossible… I pass some pretty motivated sun-goers on my morning walks to work.
Besides trying to stay cool, I’ve been searching for new recipes which highlight the products of the season. Peppers are everywhere this time of year, and besides whipping up a quick ratatouille, I love to make stuffed-peppers of every variety. A lot of Provençal recipes call for using ground lamb or veal, but I was very pleased to come across one which used quinoa. The original recipe calls for the use of fromage frais which is unavailable in the US. Consequently, after a few clicks on the Internet, it seems that ricotta is a perfectly acceptable substitute.
I made these peppers last Saturday, and besides being vegetarian and rounding out a very healthy meal, they were great for this hot weather. The only caveat is that, being meatless, they didn’t pack the same flavor-punch as my beef-stuffed tomatoes of a couple weeks back. Make sure to salt & pepper the quinoa well and use a heavy-hand when adding in the parsley. Besides that, I can’t get enough of quinoa this summer. My new favorite is substituting it for bulgar in a tabbouleh recipe – très très bon.
Poivrons farcis au quinoa et au ricotta
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 green pepper
1 orange pepper
2/3 cup ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 bunch of parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper
Rinse the peppers, take out their stems and the seeds. Cut in half. Put the peppers in the oven (at 350ºF) for around 30 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a pot and add the quinoa. Cook on high for 3 minutes. Cover with water and continue cooking until all of the water is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper.
Chop the onion and the parsley. Mix into the quinoa and add in the parmesan and ricotta.
Stuff the peppers with the quinoa mixture and bake (still at 350ºF) under the grill for 15 minutes. Serve hot.Recipe credit: Cuisine Actuelle