You Won’t Miss the Mushrooms

May 16, 2008

I love stuffed mushrooms. L.o.v.e. But, as I’ve mentioned many times before, Kevin absolutely does not. So, when I come across a new recipe for stuffed mushrooms, I look at it longingly. After a moment of wistfully imagining how delicious they’d be, I sigh and set the recipe aside.

Before Kevin’s parents’ Mother’s Day BBQ last Sunday, to which I was to bring an appetizer, I kept coming back to stuffed mushroom recipes. And the sad little scene I depicted above just kept replaying itself. Until! Until, I’d had enough. I wasn’t going to let a little mushroom aversion get in my way. I decided to pick the most promising of the recipes I’d found and roast and stuff miniature bell peppers rather than mushrooms.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)

First, the peppers. How cute are they? They were a brilliant orange—kind of like diminutive pumpkins—and 10 cents apiece at my favorite produce market.

And then there’s the filling: an amalgamation of cream cheese, feta, spinach and gently cooked onions. And if all that doesn’t already have you swooning just a little bit, there was also bacon. Because, well, why not? (I will say that I kept bacon out of half of the peppers for the non-pork eaters and they were actually quite good too.) They were absolutely delicious. I didn’t even miss the mushrooms.

Roasted Mini Bell Peppers Stuffed with Spinach, Feta and Bacon
Adapted from Bon Appetit

24-36 miniature bell peppers, halved and cored
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
8 bacon slices
1 cup chopped onion
1 10-ounce package chopped frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss the pepper halves in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Arrange cut side up on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes. Turn the peppers over and roast for 5-15 minutes.

Cook the bacon. Set aside to cool slightly. Crumble.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the chopped onion and sauté about 5 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl and cool; mix in bacon, spinach, feta, cream cheese, and crushed red pepper. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon about one tablespoon of filling into each pepper cavity. (Filled peppers can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake peppers until heated through, about 10 minutes.

5 Responses to “You Won’t Miss the Mushrooms”

  1. RecipeGirl Says:

    What a cute idea. Coscto sells those mini peppers too in a color-variety pack, but they’re long and skinny rather than round peppers. I’m going to have to test this one out!

  2. eggsonsunday Says:

    How cute! I too l.o.v.e. stuffed mushrooms, but these look like a delicious alternative. Every ingredient is yummy. 🙂 –Amy

  3. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink Says:

    RecipeGirl: Funny you should mention those! I originally intended to get a bag of the peppers you describe but it was the one week (of course) that my store didn’t have them. I went with the mini bells instead, but I think both would be great.

    Amy: Thanks!

  4. Ginny Says:

    Great idea! Looks delicious!

  5. Peter Says:

    It sounds delish, I give it a try.

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