I made a batch of ricotta cheese last week and one of the things that it ended up in were these sweet little baby peppers which were decidedly delicious paired with a glass of wine and a perfect summer evening. I can’t even begin to tell you happy I am that the oppressive humidity that has kept us indoors for the past month and a half has finally taken pity and moved on. In its stead we have been left with the first twinges of fall and an irresistible need to be outdoors.
And so it was a few evenings ago that we sat outside under a canopy of aged ash trees, sipping a lovely chardonnay and savoring these cheese-y little peppers with no small amount of contentment. Looking back, I wonder if maybe saltines and cheese whiz would have tasted just as good in that moment, but probably not.
These little peppers are astonishingly delectable, being as how they’re stuffed with not only ricotta cheese, but asiago cheese, goat cheese, fresh basil, and a little garlic, and then topped with panko breadcrumbs and baked until warm and gooey inside and a little crispy on top. Combined with the sweetness from the little peppers, we’re talking seriously scrumptious.
Nothing tricky or fussy to putting these together, either. Just mix, stuff, bake, eat. And if you have a luminous summer evening awaiting you, you really don’t want anything more complicated than that. Here’s the recipe…
Ricotta-Stuffed Mini Peppers
¾ cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup goat cheese
¼ cup grated asiago cheese
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 clove garlic, minced
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
8 baby bell peppers, halved lengthwise
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the first 6 ingredients and taste for salt and pepper. Fill each pepper half with some of the cheese mixture and then dip it in the panko breadcrumbs. Place the peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet that’s been coated with cooking spray. Drizzle the peppers with a little olive oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are slightly browned on top. The cheese mixture is going to want to melt and spill out of some of the peppers, but is easily coaxed back in as they cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature.