Roasted Red Peppers Stuffed With Chicken, Mushrooms & Squash
by Kelly Clark, Carrboro Farmers' Market , Carrboro, North Carolina
- 2 cups poached or cooked Smart Chicken, shredded
- 6 medium-sized sweet red peppers suitable for stuffing—make sure they “stand” up
- 5 zephyr squash, about 5 inches long and 1 inch in diameter (substitute zucchini or yellow squash)
- 11 ounces cremini mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed, cut into 1/8-inch slices
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tomato
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Wash the peppers and carefully slice off the stem end, removing the seeds and veins. Rinse inside. Cook the peppers in a stockpot of boiling water for about 5 minutes. Carefully remove the peppers from the water, being careful not to tear them. Set peppers aside in a 10 x 15 inch baking dish.
Grate the squash in a food processor or by hand, to equal 4 cups. Put the squash in a colander, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt; toss to distribute. Set aside to let some of the water strain out, occasionally squeezing the squash to remove as much water as possible.
Heat olive oil in a 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat, add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the butter to the pan and turn the heat to medium high. Add the mushrooms, stir the mushrooms and onions together, and continue to cook until the mushrooms begin to soften. Turn off the heat, spread out the mushrooms and onions in the pan, and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the squash, chicken, mushrooms and onions, garlic, ricotta, parmesan, parsley, and remaining salt and pepper. Mix well. Adjust salt and pepper according to taste.
Stuff each pepper with the chicken mixture, pressing it firmly into the pepper without tearing. Thinly slice the tomato and place one slice on top of each pepper. Sprinkle the top of each tomato with parmesan cheese. If any pepper is having a hard time “standing up,” placed a little aluminum foil roll underneath to balance. Pour 2 cups of water into the baking dish.
Bake the peppers for 45 minutes. The tomato and cheese top should be brown and the skin of the Italian peppers slightly charred.