This is one of BJ's favorite dishes. On a scale of 1-10, he once ranked it as a 9.5. That's equivalent to Cafe Rio, folks. (I'm not quite as of fond of it, though, so it doesn't get made often. But it's still good.)
4 red bell peppers
3 T. olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/4 c. cherry tomatoes* (from a 1-pint container)
4 1/2 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed*
1/4 c. finely shredded fresh basil
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup prepared pesto sauce (if you can't find it prepared, look for a mix in with the gravy mixes)
1 T. lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 475.
- Spray a small roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray. (A 9x9 or smaller. You'll want your peppers to be able to stand up in it. You don't want it too big else they fall over.)
- Slice the tops off the peppers (keep these!) and deseed. Stand them upright in the prepared pan. If needed, trim the bottom of the peppers so that they sit flat.
- Bake 20 minutes, or until softened.
- Meanwhile, place bell pepper tops on a baking sheet.
- Combine garlic and 1 T. oil in a medium bowl.
- Toss the tomatoes in the garlic mixture and place on baking sheet with the pepper tops.
- Bake next to the pepper bases for the last 10 minutes of their baking time.
- Take peppers and tomatoes out of oven. (Do not turn off oven!)
- Put tomatoes in a large bowl with the mozzarella cubes, basil, salt and pepper.
- Stir until combined.
- Spoon tomato mixture into peppers and replace tops.
- Put peppers back into oven until the cheese has just melted, about 5 minutes. (You can turn off the oven after this.)
- Meanwhile, combine the pesto sauce, lemon juice and 2 T. olive oil in a small bowl.
- Transfer peppers to a serving platter.
- Drizzle with pesto sauce.
- Serve hot and enjoy.
*I find these measurements to be an estimate. If you have larger peppers, you'll need a bit more to fill them up. If you want to add more, go for it.
Recipe based off Great American Recipes: Easy Everyday Cooking