About This Recipe
Roasted sweet summer peppers are lightly charred until just softened, tossed with a little olive oil and red wine vinegar, then stuffed with lemon-y ricotta. They’re a lush, slightly smoky, knife-and-fork component for a semi-composed salad with shaved raw zucchini and torn mint. The colors are as inviting as the flavors.
Sweet bell peppers are loaded with vitamin C: good for your heart and blood pressure. And the cheese inside? Ricotta’s protein is chiefly whey, which offers the gamut of amino acids your body needs. Yes whey!
- 1 cup (250 g) ricotta
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3 Tbsp (45 ml) olive oil, divided
- 2 Tbsp (30. ml) red wine vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 (220 g) small sweet peppers
- 1/2 yellow zucchini
- Mint leaves, torn, for garnish
- Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
Step 1Make the lemon ricotta filling: In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, lemon zest and juice, 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Set aside in the refrigerator to keep it chilled.
Step 2Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk the red wine vinegar, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper until the salt is dissolved. Mix in the remaining 2 Tbsp of the olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.
Step 3Lightly char the sweet peppers: Put them in a dry cast iron skillet, then heat the pan over medium-high heat. Once the peppers start to char, 3 to 5 minutes, turn them to another side. Keep rotating them until lightly blistered and just softened, about 5 minutes.
Step 4Transfer the peppers to a bowl. Give the dressing a stir to make sure the vinegar and oil are well combined, then pour a couple of spoonfuls over the peppers while they’re still hot. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Step 5Cut the zucchini into paper-thin slices using a mandolin and set aside.
Step 6When the peppers have cooled, cut them in half lengthwise, leaving the stem end intact. (You want the pepper whole — you’re just cutting them open so that you can fill them.) Fill each pepper with a spoonful of the ricotta filling and set aside.
Step 7Layer the bottom of a plate with half of the zucchini slices. Top with the stuffed peppers. Top with the remaining zucchini slices. Pour over the rest of the vinaigrette. Garnish with torn mint and parsley, if using, and serve immediately.
Substitutions: Use other small summer heirloom squash instead of zucchini, or use a mix of cucumbers and squash/zucchini. You also could thinly slice the zucchini lengthwise.
Level Up: Make your own ricotta
About the author
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