This is a go-to recipe, mainly for the warmer months as a light lunch, starter or even as a side dish. As the peppers are roasted they become soft and juicy and their natural sweetness becomes more intense. You can be very flexible with your filling depending on what you’ve got already or what favors everyone fancies.

Mediterranean Baked Peppers [Vegan]

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Serves

4

Cooking Time

60

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Ingredients

For the Peppers:

  • 4 red, orange or yellow (bell) peppers
  • 3 tablespoons pesto, tapenade or sun-dried tomato paste
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, quartered, or 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small red onion, finely sliced small handful of fresh basil, parsley or oregano
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • flaked sea salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper

Optional Fillings:

  • pitted olives
  • capers
  • pine nuts
  • chopped artichokes (in oil from the jar)
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Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut the peppers in half lengthways, keeping the stalk intact if possible, as they look nicer that way when cooked. Remove the core, seeds and white membrane.
  3. Spread the pesto, tapenade or sun-dried tomato paste inside each halved pepper and add the tomatoes, onion and fresh herbs.
  4. Continue adding your chosen fillings, making sure you don’t fill them too much otherwise they will stew rather than bake in the oven. Finish by drizzling with some balsamic vinegar, a decent glug of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place the peppers on a baking tray and bake for 30–40 minutes until the peppers are softened but still just hold their shape and the fillings are melted, bubbling and slightly golden. Serve hot or warm and if you happen to have any leftovers they are just as delicious served cold.
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