I made this random meal a couple weeks ago. I love my Giada’s Kitchen cookbook but the stuffed pepper recipe was not a favorite. It was good, but not as good as most of the meals I have made from Giada’s book.

I also paired the meal with beets from the Farmer’s Market, they were perfectly in season, huge and gorgeous. I roast them on 400 degrees with salt, olive oil and freshly ground pepper for about 45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Then I crumble goat cheese on top, so good.

Here is the recipe for the Orzo-Stuffed Peppers (as you can see in the photos, I used green peppers because they were available at the Farmer’s Market, I think we would have liked them more had I followed the recipe and used red or yellow sweet bell peppers.) Another reason I don’t think this was a favorite is that I am not a huge fan of mint in savory dishes. Basil may have been better.

Orzo-Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients

1 (28 ounce) can whole Italiam tomatoes
2 medium zuchini, grated
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romao cheese, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
6 sweet bell peppers (red or yellow)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Pour the tomatoes and their juices into a large bowl and break them into pieces using a pair of kitchen shears or your fingertips. Add the zucchini, mint, cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the orzo and cook for 4 minutes. The orzo will be only partially cooked. Drain the orzo through a sieve, reserving the chicken broth, and add the orzo to the large bowl with the vegetables. Stir to combine. Transfer the warm chicken broth to a 3-quart baking dish.

Slice the tops off the peppers and remove the ribs and seeds. Cut a very thin slice from the base to help the peppers stand up.

Spoon the orzo mixture into the peppers. Place the peppers in the baking dish with the warm chicken broth. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle each pepper with cheese, and continue baking until the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer the stuffed peppers to serving plates. Garnish with basil, if desired.

Here is the link to the recipe I used for the hummus, instead of the full 1/3 cup of tahini (sesame seed paste), I substituted some olive oil. It turned out fabulous.