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Smoke-Roasted Bell Peppers Stuffed with Garden Vegetables

(recipe, Andrew Schloss & David Joachim)


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Introduction

This is one of the most colorful dishes that will ever grace your grill. Orange, yellow, red, and green bell peppers are stuffed with golden corn kernels, red tomatoes, green zucchini, and chopped fresh herbs. Breadcrumbs hold the filling together and develop a lightly toasted top crust as the stuffed peppers are grill-roasted via indirect heat. A few handfuls of wood chips infuse the vegetables with a subtle, smoky aroma.

Ingredients

  1. 2 medium red bell peppers
  2. 3 medium mixed bell peppers (yellow, orange, green)
  3. ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  4. ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  5. 3 Tbsp. butter
  6. 1 onion, finely chopped
  7. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  8. 1 medium zucchini, cut into ¼-inch dice
  9. 1 medium yellow squash, cut into ¼-inch dice
  10. 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (see Note)
  11. 1 medium tomato, seeded and cut into ¼-inch dice
  12. 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, oregano, basil, or a mix)
  13. ¼ cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  14. Oil for coating grill grate
  15. 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan or shaved ricotta salata cheese (optional)

Steps

  1. Soak 2 cups wood (apple or oak) chips or chunks in water for 1 hour. Heat the grill as directed (see Note).
  2. Seed, core, and cut one of the red bell peppers into ¼-inch dice. Cut the remaining bell peppers in half lengthwise right through the stem, leaving a bit of stem attached to each half. Cut out the cores, seeds, and ribs from the interiors of the peppers, leaving the stems intact. Sprinkle the insides of the peppers with about ¼ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper.
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until almost tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, chopped bell pepper, zucchini, and yellow squash. Sauté the vegetables until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the corn and tomato and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in herbs, breadcrumbs, and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook and stir until the breadcrumbs soak up most of the liquid in the pan. Remove from the heat and spoon the filling equally into the pepper cavities.
  4. When the grill is hot, put the soaked wood chips or chunks over the coals on both sides of the grill. If using gas, put the wood in a smoker box or in a perforated foil packet directly over one of the heated burners.
  5. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the stuffed peppers over the unheated part of the grill, cover, and cook until just tender, 20 to 30 minutes. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 350 degrees.
  6. Remove the peppers to a large serving platter. Sprinkle with the cheese, if using.

Note

You’ll need a grill screen and long-handled tongs for this grill recipe. If you have a gas grill, use indirect heat (one burner turned off on a two-burner grill, or the middle burner turned off on a three-burner grill) set to medium (325 to 350 degrees) and be sure the grate is clean and oiled. If you’re using a charcoal grill, use indirect heat (the coals should have an ashy appearance) and a split bed of coals (about 2 dozen coals on each side); the grate should be clean, oiled, and on the middle setting. For 2 cups fresh corn kernels, you’ll need 3 to 4 ears of corn. Remove the husks and silks, then stand the cobs upright on a cutting board with the fat end down. Cut straight downward all around the cob, cutting the kernels from the cob. For extra flavor, use the dull side of your knife blade to scrape the remaining corn and juices or “milk” from the cobs.