The calendar says summer doesn’t officially begin until next week, but the tables at the farmers market are already brimming with brightly colored peppers, gorgeous green beans, various types of zucchini and the first of the vine ripened tomatoes. I love the transition of seasons at the market and am inspired to find new ways to prepare what the farmers have grown.
Do you have David Tanis’ cookbook Market Cooking? If not, it’s one you should have on your shelf, especially if you need a little inspiration for your vegetable dishes.
This dish is very similar to a pepper dish I’ve been making for years, but with the addition of feta cheese which which adds an extra layer of flavor and a hint of saltiness.
Baked Peppers with Feta and Bread Crumbs (adapted from David Tanis Market Cooking)
6 thick slices day old country bed, crusts removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons parmesan, grated
salt and freshly ground pepper
6 very small sweet peppers or 2 red bell peppers (cut into thirds)
6 ounces mild feta cheese
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes and pulse in a food processor in batches to make coarse, soft crumbs. It should yield about 3 cups. Toss the crumbs with the olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Bake, stirring often, until the crumbs are crisp and barely browned, about 15 minutes. Put the baked crumbs in a bowl and add the garlic, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and Parmesan.Season with salt and black pepper and toss well. Set aside.
Cut the peppers lengthwise in half and remove the cores and seeds. Place skin side down in a shallow baking dish in one layer. Season lightly with salt. Fill each pepper half with about 3 tablespoons crumbled feta and press in the cheese with your fingers. With a spoon, divide the seasoned crumbs evenly among the pepper halves.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until the crumbs are golden and the cheese is softened. Serve warm from the baking dish.
Stay tuned for info on next May’s Panini Girl Tour in Lucca-dates are May 4 to the 11th.