Back when Peter and I lived in Hamden, CT, we entered the stage of our lives I call “The Era of New Foods“. We finally had a kitchen that could fit more than 1.71 persons and enjoyed easy access to all the food shops southern Connecticut had to offer.
One of our many weekly stops was to Liuzzi’s, an Italian grocery situated all-too-conveniently nearby. It was there we discovered the wonders of Italian cheese, including the perfect baking cheese: scamorza. Similar to mozzarella, it has a stronger taste and more “mozzarella-like” texture, if that makes any sense. It’s the ideal cheese to stretch for miles like in the old-fashioned pizza commercials.
When we found scamorza in a local grocery in Illinois, I knew I had to make use of this beautiful cheese. I do wish I had remembered to take a picture of it before slicing it into paper-thin rounds (some of which were consumed on the spot) … but, no. That would have required too much forethought. See the link above for a picture.
I’ve been meaning to make stuffed peppers for a while, and my sister’s visit seemed the perfect opportunity. I know this recipe will find its way into my regular rotation. Enjoy!
Bonus shot: evidence of how my camera aim is SO GOOD:
Herbed Tofu and Red Rice-Stuffed Peppers with Scamorza
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 75 minutes
Keywords: bake saute appetizer entree side vegetarian
Ingredients (4 servings)
- 1/2 cup brown or red rice (or a mixture of both)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 4 large green peppers
- 1 pound firm tofu, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil or thyme, chopped
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes
- 4 oz. scamorza, shredded or thinly sliced
Place rice and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
While rice cooks, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut tops off green peppers and remove insides. Place inside a baking dish.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add garlic and tofu. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add chopped herbs and crushed tomatoes. Continue cooking for 5 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add rice and combine.
Put about 1 tablespoon of scamorza in the bottom of each pepper. Fill each pepper halfway with rice and tofu mixture, then add another tablespoon of scamorza. Fill the peppers the rest of the way with the rice mixture, then top with the remaining scamorza.
Bake 25 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly. Serve immediately.
Q: What new food(s) have you tried lately?