The bean mixture used to stuff these peppers has seasonings (cocoa, cinnamon, oregano, and raisins) that are reminiscent of a Latin American meat dish called picadillo.
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- 1 large red bell pepper, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 large green bell pepper, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (19 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 1½ teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups canned crushed tomatoes
- ⅓ cup raisins
- 3 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
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In a vegetable steamer, cook the pepper halves, cut-side down, for 10 minutes, or until crisp-tender.
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Meanwhile, in a medium nonstick skillet, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is golden brown. Measure out ¼ cup of the onion mixture and transfer it to a bowl. Add the beans and tomato paste to the bowl, and mash with a potato masher or a spoon.
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To the onion mixture remaining in the skillet, add the sesame seeds, cocoa powder, oregano, cinnamon, and salt; cook for 1 minute. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and raisins; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover and cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree.
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Return the puree to the skillet and stir in ⅓ cup of water. Add the steamed peppers, cut-side up. Spoon the bean mixture into the peppers; cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until the bean mixture is heated through. Spoon a little of the sauce over the beans and sprinkle with cheese; cover and cook for 2 minutes to melt the cheese.
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To serve, spoon some of the sauce onto each plate, top with a pepper half and a little more sauce.