My most recent farmers market find is the Jimmy Nardello sweet Italian frying pepper. I have never tasted a pepper this sweet in my life and am now hooked.
Should you want to grown your own, seeds for the Jimmy Nardello pepper are readily available online at Burpee's and other seed catalogs and I think I will be growing them myself next year along with my Scotch bonnets, Thai peppers and native chiltepin peppers. I have never before had the urge to grow a sweet pepper! (Let's be honest, Mark will grow the peppers for me, and he will benefit from all the culinary wonders they/I provide for him!)
When the woman at the vegetable stall asked what I was going to do with them, my first thought was to stuff them and serve them as an appetizer or first course. "Well, what exactly will you stuff them with?" Feeling a bit on the spot, I responded, "Cheese and herbs, of course!"
And that is pretty much what I did! Like many of my recipes, this one started with, "What's in the fridge today?" Greek yogurt (nonfat - from recent a recent Indian meal), Parmigiana-Reggiano and pecorino Romano (refrigerator standards), egg whites (leftover from some cake or other that I baked earlier in the week), a paprika/cayenne blend (from some Thai cooking on Thursday) and Greek oregano from Mark's garden.
When you have a great list of ingredients to start a recipe - about half Italian and half Greek – how can you go wrong? In my mind, Italian + Greek = Amazing!
I was especially pleased, when considering these ingredients, with the low-fat aspect of the recipe-to-come. The entire recipe has very few calories and yet they are really filling. Oh, and they are delicious!
So, for my Italian friends, "Buon appetito!" and for my Greek friends, "Kali' óreksi!"
Roasted stuffed Jimmy Nardello Peppers
10-12 Jimmy Nardello sweet frying peppers
6 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup grated Parmigiana-Reggiano
1/4 cup grated pecorino Romano
1/4 cup egg white
2 tablespoons chopped Greek oregano
1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
Heat a gas grill or preheat broiler. Cook peppers for about 1 minute per side to soften and slightly char. Let cool.
While the peppers are cooling, mix all remaining ingredients well and put into a re-sealable Ziploc storage bag. Chill until ready to stuff.
Using sharp kitchen shears, very carefully slit the peppers from top to bottom. Again using the shears, cut the top seed cluster from the stem and then gently using your fingers, pull out the seeds and large ribs, being careful not to rip the peppers. Place gutted peppers on a baking sheet.
Cut a 3/16-inch corner off one side of the bag and use it as a pastry bag to pipe the filling into the peppers.
Preheat broiler to high. Place stuffed peppers under the broiler for 6 minutes or until bubbling and browning in spots.
Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer or first course.