We knew from the start that the goal of growing most of our own food would inevitably change our eating habits. We don’t want to take on a 100-mile diet experiment or make cooking and eating into a complicated set of rules. But we do want to source as much of our daily food as possible from our own growing spaces and gatherings. More and more we find ourselves looking at our plates and saying, with a new sort of satisfaction "wow, we grew all of this."
We're making a little space here to share with you what finds its way from our gardens to our table as we move through the seasons. In these posts we'll highlight one meal each week that shows how we are making use of the ingredients we've grown, gathered, and put up. We invite you to join us at the table by trying these meals out yourself, planting some of these ingredients into your next garden, or leaving a comment or link to what is on your own table these days.
This week, we're sharing these stuffed California Wonder bell peppers. We consider any good stout mature peppers in Montana to be a wonder, and these, though their name says “California” have done great in our sometimes-chilly valley. We hope to stretch another week or two of growing season before the big frosts, to let some of them ripen to red (though they are tasting great green, too).
To make this, we took some of our biggest bell peppers and cut off the tops to pull out the seeds and cores. The inside filling is sautéed from-the-garden garlic, onions, Jimmy Nardello peppers, coriander seed, jalapeños, sweet corn, and black beans (our first effort growing dry beans has also been an exciting venture). Mixed with a bit of brown rice, olive oil, and local cheese (not ingredients we've managed to grow ourselves yet), we stuffed the filling into the peppers, set them upright in a baking dish, and roasted them at 375. Pulled out after 30 minutes, we topped them with fresh tomatoes and the salsa we made while they baked.
I'm not sure that an advanced wine-and-food connoisseur would chose blackberry wine as the best pairing for this, but, well, it's what we have because it's what we've made! For these homesteaders at least, the stuffed peppers went beautifully with the Oregon blackberry wine and a slice of homegrown Golden Midget watermelon for dessert.