This time of year delivers a harvest of abundance and flavor as summer crops give their last burst of goodness. What better time than to try a hearty plant-based meal or side to see how filling and delicious a dish of vegetables can be? It’s good for you, and it’s good for the planet.
The Culinary Institute of America’s Adam Busby, CMC, director of special culinary projects, demonstrated this recipe in June at Menus of Change, a leadership summit coproduced by the CIA and Harvard University School of Public Health. The recipe emphasizes ingredients and principles of sustainability as well as providing the deliciousness we all seek in our food. Try it as a Meatless Monday meal served with farro, brown rice or pasta; or serve it as a side with your favorite fish or seafood.
3 ripe Roma tomatoes
3 large yellow bell peppers
2 T garlic, minced
1 t fresh thyme leaves, chopped
12 farmed anchovy fillets
2 lb “hen of the woods” mushrooms
4 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Recipe Key: T = Tablespoon; t = teaspoon; lb = pound
Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Wash peppers and tomatoes well. Carefully cut each bell pepper in half lengthwise, splitting stem in two if possible (don’t remove stem). Remove and discard seeds and ribs.
Mix garlic and thyme together.
Cut and core each tomato in half lengthwise.
Set peppers on oiled and seasoned cast-iron pan, cut side up. Drizzle ¼ of olive oil and sprinkle half of garlic-thyme mixture into pepper cavities. Season with salt and pepper.
Gently force 1/2 tomato into each pepper (tops should be flush with peppers). Sprinkle with remaining garlic-thyme mixture; drizzle a bit more olive oil on top; and again season with salt and pepper.
Place two anchovy fillets in “X” fashion on each tomato-stuffed pepper.
Toss mushroom bunches with remaining olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place mushrooms around peppers in cast-iron pan.
Roast in 350°F oven for about 20 minutes, or until tomato-stuffed peppers are soft.
Remove from oven and drizzle with touch of balsamic vinegar.
Serve with mushrooms on the side. Makes six servings.
Source: Reprinted with permission from The Culinary Institute of America.
PHOTOGRAPHY: The Culinary Institute of America
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