Wednesday, July 3, 2013

BBQ'd Bell Peppers Stuffed with Marinated Cheese

I love vegetables, I always have. And I especially enjoy them in the summertime when the temperatures are scorching and all you feel like is a fresh and light meal that is still satisfying but without weighing you down. I just knew when I saw the fresh red bell peppers on sale at my grocery market that I needed to do something special with them. I decided that I would stuff these gorgeous peppers. But instead of a traditional meat or rice stuffing I opted for a lighter and much tastier, I might add, version. I marinated some fresh mozzarella and placed a slice onto each of my bell peppers. And in an effort to thwart any increased temperatures in my house I decided to BBQ them. Red bell peppers are so much sweeter than their yellow or green counterparts and BBQ-ing them really intensified the sugars and gave my peppers a lightly smokey flavor. 

The fresh mozzarella is incredibly smooth and creamy and melts perfectly into the bell pepper cups over the BBQ. The lemon juice/zest give a perfect amount of acid and tang, that compliments the heat from the red pepper flakes and earthy notes from the oregano. This is a flavor packed recipe that would be perfect as a wonderfully delicious side or even as a main dish.

BBQ'd Bell Peppers Stuffed with Marinated Cheese

6 slices fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
3 red bell peppers
juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (depends on how much heat you want)
3-4 tablespoons fresh oregano
pinch of salt

I placed 1 piece of sliced mozzarella onto each of my halved red peppers, but depending on how much cheese you would like to stuff them with is up to you. Place your mozzarella into a small bowl and add zest of 1 lemon, juice of 1/2 of a lemon, red pepper flakes, oregano, and a pinch of salt. Stir the ingredients together and let sit to marinate while you prepare your peppers.
Prepare your bell peppers by trimming away the stem, removing the seeds and slicing them in half. Place your bell peppers in a large bowl and squeeze your other half of your lemon over the peppers and drizzle with olive oil. Rub the juice and oil all over the peppers. 
Place oiled peppers onto your BBQ face down for between 5-7 minutes depending on how much char you like on your vegetables.
Turn your peppers over and place 1 piece of marinated fresh mozzarella onto each, and BBQ for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove your peppers from your BBQ and serve immediately. Enjoy!

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