I have a new favorite cookbook! It's called Flavors of Sicily by Ursula Ferrigno and I love it. I've visited the fair island only once but it's really stayed with me. And the extra value of this cookbook is the gorgeous photos and the slices of information, such as the sections Sicilian citrus groves, and the wines of Sicily.
What I've chosen today is a zesty side dish that adds a lot of color to any plate. And, it combines two veggies I thoroughly enjoy -- red peppers and fennel. It's also fairly easy to put together. And, conveniently, it can be made a day ahead and reheated.
Let's get started!
4 tbsp. olive oil
4 fennel bulbs
4 red peppers
2 onions, finely chopped
3 garlic closed, finely chopped
7 oz. ricotta
¾ c. pistachio nuts, shelled and finely chopped
7 oz. strained or diced tomatoes
1 tbsp. tomato paste
Handful cilantro, finely chopped
Pinch of crushed dried chili peppers
Fennel fronds to garnish
Freshly ground pepper
1. 1. Preheat over to 350F. Line wide baking dish with parchment paper
2. 2. Halve the fennel bulbs lengthwise and trim, discarding wood cores. Save leafy fronds.
1. 3. Blanch bulb halves for 8 minutes in saucepan of boiling water. Drain and pat dry.
2. 4. Halve peppers lengthways and remove pith and seeds.
1. 5. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in frying pan. Sauté onions and then add garlic.
2. 6. Transfer onions and garlic to large bowl; add ricotta. Season with salt and pepper. Place 3-4 spoonfuls of mixture in each pepper half. Place fennel on top then fill in the gaps with cheese mixture.
1. 7. Transfer peppers to baking dish. Mix strained tomatoes with tomato paste; season with cilantro. Pour around peppers. Drizzle remaining olive oil on peppers; sprinkle pistachios on top.
2. 8. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
Voila. A colorful addition to my chicken breast, roasted potatoes, and asparagus dinner!
The countdown is on. Just 12 days to go until release day!
TOASTING UP TROUBLE, the first in my new Dinner Club Mystery series (includes recipes)
is coming July 5th!
To pre-order, click here
Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.
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Also appearing at www.killercharacters.com
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and on Twitter @erika_chase.