Our summer home improvement project is to spruce up our patio. What was once a slab of concrete between the house and the woods will soon be an inviting place to relax, eat, and entertain. Our first step toward this aim was to put up strings of cafe lights, and I have to say that just this one little thing has made a huge difference. It turns it into more of a ‘room’ and brings a festive atmosphere.
I decided to make a meal to match the European cafe vibes that my patio is giving off. Stuffed peppers have always been a go-to meal for me, though I’ve never made them this way before (inspired by this post). The Greek and Italian ingredients bring the dish to a whole new level. I don’t know if I will ever go back to my plain old rice/sausage/cheese stuffed peppers again.
Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers
- 1 cup dry bulgur (can sub any other grain- couscous, rice, quinoa, etc)
- 1 cup chicken or veggie stock
- 1 cup water
- 3 red/orange/yellow bell peppers, cleaned and halved lengthwise
- 1/2 of a red onion, chopped
- 3-4 medium cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 lb italian sausage (or 2-3 links with casings removed)
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 6 handfuls baby kale (can sub spinach)
- 4oz feta cheese, crumbled
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt to taste
- olive oil
- Prepare bulgur according to package, using 1 cup of stock + 1 cup of water for cooking liquid
- Cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink, 6-8 minutes. Set aside.
- Preheat your oven to broil and lightly oil, salt, and pepper the halved bell peppers and place in a casserole dish. Place under the broiler for a 2-4 minutes, then flip and broil for another 2-4 minutes. You want them slightly tender, not limp. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Heat a large pan over medium and add 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil. Once hot, add the onion and stir occasionally until translucent and soft, about 5-8 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, oregano, and black pepper for 30 seconds until fragrant, then add in the olives, sun-dried tomatoes, sausage, and cooked bulger and stir together.
- Add in your baby kale and incorporate until just starting to wilt, another 3-4 minutes.
- Add half the feta, lemon juice, and lemon zest, then give it one more stir and taste. Add more salt if desired.
- Lightly pack the bulgur mixture into the pepper halves, filling in any remaining mixture around the peppers in the dish. Top with remaining feta.
- Bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes- until edges are crispy and feta begins to brown.