Holy WOW! I haven’t posted in a LONG time. Sorry! Turns out, January and February are busy months! And also I haven’t done much cooking And I have not taken any photos of what I have cooked . I always feel like there’s not much point in posting without photos! Luckily, we did cook a day or two ago, and although I didn’t take any photos of it, I’ve made and photographed it before! So today is a bit of a re-blog with a little twist at the end: Grilled Blue Cheese and Pesto Stuffed Sweet Peppers, a.k.a. The Best Way to Make Vegetables Bad For You.
Get your grill ready. Hint: doing this in February makes everything taste just that more amazing since (in northern climates) no one has had grilled food for months (and no, the indoor “grill” on your super-fancy stove doesn’t count). Heat should be med-low (put your hand, palm down, at the level the food will be cooking at. the temperature will be perfect for the peppers when you can hold your hand there for 5 seconds before it’s too hot). Slice up your peppers! Since mine were long I sliced most of them in half lengthwise, then in half width-wise.
Then put blue cheese, cream cheese and basil pesto in a small bowl and blend it together until it’s well combined and relatively smooth.
Now, go grill your peppers! Place them cut-side down and grill them, uncovered, for a minute or two—watch them like a hawk! You don’t want to incinerate them, and that can happen very quickly.
Take them off the grill and place them “cup” side up in a baking dish (or a plate or some sort of thing that makes carrying food easier). They will smell heavenly. Try not to eat them all straight away. Let them cool down a bit until it’s easy to touch them and scoop the blue cheese mixture into each pepper. Fill them to the brim!
Here you can do a few things for a topping:
- Nothing, but why?
- Fresh-cut chives (what I did the first time around)
- Parmesan cheese and a light dusting of paprika (what I did two days ago)
Put the stuffed, topped peppers back on the grill so the filling gets a little melty-gooey and warm. Remove them from the heat and get ready to serve them. Originally I served them whole but it was a bit much. This should really be more of an appetizer-type dish, like a stuffed mushroom, so I’d recommend cutting them into bite-sized pieces before serving. I do not recommend cutting them smaller than quarters before grilling them. You will lose structural integrity while transferring them back and forth from the grill and filling them. You could even add a little bit of parsley as a garnish.
Grilled Blue Cheese and Pesto Stuffed Sweet Peppers
- 8 oz of cream cheese
- 5 oz. blue cheese
- 2 Tbsp basil pesto
- 3-4 red, yellow and orange bell peppers, sliced into quarters (boat-shaped)
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Paprika to taste
- Fresh cut chives (optional)
- Heat up your grill. Charcoal preferably. Medium-low heat will suffice for the peppers (see the handy chart from Better Homes and Gardens below on how to test the temperature of your charcoal grill without fancy gadgets)
- Meanwhile, slice the peppers if you have not done so already and make the filling: with an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, blue cheese and pesto, mixing until well-combined and fairly smooth (there will be lumps). Set aside.
- Once the grill is heated, place the sliced peppers cut side down on the grill for 1-2 minutes; just until they are a little charred around the edges and begin to smell heavenly. Flip them and grill for another minute or so, then remove from heat and place in/on a dish.
- Spoon/spread blue cheese mixture into the sweet pepper boats. Sprinkle Parmesan, paprika and chives over the top of each stuffed pepper.
- Place back on the grill for 1 minute (cut side UP) to warm up and get the cheese mixture warm and gooey
- Remove from heat, slice into bite-sized pieces with a sharp knife, and serve warm
One thing I have not tried with this recipe that I think would be amazing is… I’ll give you a hint: it makes everything better…. give up? Bacon! Some crumbled bacon on the top, or maybe some prosciutto would be awesome on top and would completely negate the fact that all of it is inside a vegetable.
How to tell if your grill is warm enough, via Better Homes and Gardens:
Place your hand, palm down, at the level where the food will be cooking. Obviously, don’t touch the grill. Count how long your hand can stay there until it’s too hot (one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, etc.).
- 2 seconds — grill temperature High
- 3 seconds — grill temperature Medium-High
- 4 seconds — grill temperature Medium
- 5 seconds — grill temperature Medium-Low
- 6 seconds — grill temperature Low