Stuffed Mini Peppers

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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Ingredients

16 fresh cherry peppers

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

8 ounces creamy goat cheese, at room temperature

4 scallions (green and white parts), thinly sliced

3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Grated zest and juice of 1/2 large lemon

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare the peppers: Lay each pepper sideways on a flat surface and cut off the top so it’s like a little hat for the rest of the pepper. Use a paring knife to carefully cut away any seeds stuck to the top. Use the paring knife or a small spoon to scoop any seeds from inside the pepper. In a large bowl, toss the pepper tops and bottoms with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon salt. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. When it is hot, drop in the pepper tops and bottoms and cook until they are browned and slightly wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Tilt the pan so the peppers spill out onto a baking sheet. Set aside to cool.
  2. Prepare the filling: Use a rubber spatula to spread the goat cheese over the bottom and up the sides of a medium bowl so that you can season it evenly. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt, the scallions and the pine nuts all over the cheese. Mix to blend. Taste to make sure the flavors are balanced. 
  3. Fill and bake the peppers: Use a small spoon to stuff the peppers with the cheese mixture and then arrange them on a baking sheet with room between them. (Reserve the tops.) Bake until the filling is hot in the center, 8 to 10 minutes (test the center with the tip of a knife). 
  4. Make the dressing and finish the dish: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Remove the peppers from the oven and drizzle with the lemon dressing. Top the peppers with the reserved tops. Serve immediately.