Tag Archives: pepper

Greek Summer Salad

5 Jun

Greek salad with peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and feta

As the season of endless barbecues approaches, it is always good to have a couple of stand by dishes that are easy to make and easily transportable.  I like bringing side salads that are more substantial than simply lettuce and dressing, such as potato salad or this pepper/cucumber/tomato salad.  I love this twist on a classic Greek salad, which only requires chopping up a few ingredients and throwing them in a bowl.  It is especially good for bringing places because the lack of lettuce and marinade-type dressing means it doesn’t get soggy, and actually gets even more delicious in the fridge overnight as the flavors all meld together.  The dressing is a very fresh red wine vinegar version, made even better by first using it to pickle the onions, which really takes out the bite of raw onion that not everyone is a fan of.  My only regret in making this twice in the past month for various barbecues is that it gets eaten up so quickly that I wish I had saved some in the fridge just for myself.

Greek Summer Salad
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Equipment: Bowl, knife, salad servers (or a couple large spoons to mix everything)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 a red onion, diced quite finely
2 or 3 bell peppers
1 cucumber
1/4 pound firm feta cheese
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together the red wine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a smallish bowl until the salt and sugar have dissolved.  Add the diced onion and set aside for a few minutes.

Core and seed the bell peppers, cut them into 1/2 inch pieces, and place in a large salad bowl.  Chop the cucumber and feta into similar sized pieces and put them into the bowl as well.  Drain the onions from the vinegar mixture, but reserve the vinegar for the dressing.  Add the onions to the salad bowl, along with about 1/4 cup of the vinegar mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss everything together and adjust the dressing to taste- I usually use most of the vinegar mixture in the end. Serve immediately or let rest in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

27 Feb

Yummy stuffed peppers.

I saw this recipe a few weeks ago in Shape magazine, and despite my aversion to anything with the word “diet” in it, thought it looked like a pretty delicious lunch or dinner idea.  Plus, I’d been looking to experiment with quinoa (can we please just spell it qeenwa from now on?) since I keep hearing about how it is some crazy superfood that makes you live forever.  Or something like that.  I changed this recipe a bit, mainly making it much less healthy by adding more cheese than necessary and laughing at the idea of only using “salt free herb seasoning”.  But it ended up really well, and was extremely filling- I made two peppers at once but ended up saving most of one since the quinoa and vegetable stuffing was very hearty.  If you don’t want to go through actually putting the stuffing into the pepper, the filling would be very good as a side dish to a main course of chicken or fish.  Once you get the hang of cooking quinoa (apparently Gina had some sort of quinoa accident once, but it’s really not hard), it’s very easy to add to cold or warm salads as well.

Cheese and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Adapted from Cinch!
Makes 2 stuffed peppers

Equipment: Knife, cutting board, small saucepan, frying pan or skillet, baking sheet or baking dish

Ingredients
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
2 red or green bell peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red or white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1/2 cup shredded carrots (optional)
1/2 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup sliced white mushrooms
1/2-3/4 cup cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
A few fresh basil leaves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place quinoa and water into a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer, cover and let cook until all water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.  Cut the tops off the peppers, and remove the seeds and membranes.

Heat a frying pan or skillet on medium-high heat, add the olive oil, and once hot add the onion.  Saute for 3 minutes or until translucent, then add the garlic, carrots, baby spinach, and mushrooms.  Saute for another 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.  Add basil, and salt and pepper to taste, then take off the heat and transfer vegetables to a bowl.  Mix in the cooked quinoa and fold in the cheddar cheese.

Place peppers on a baking sheet or in a baking dish, and fill with the quinoa mixture.  Sprinkle breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese over the top.  Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, or until pepper is slightly charred.  Serve warm or at room temperature.