With their meaty texture and robust flavor, fresh bell peppers can make a healthy and filling stand-in for meat if served whole. In this rustic vegetarian dish, adapted from the New York Times, the peppers are roasted until the skins are caramelized, then served atop well-seasoned white beans and greens. A crumble of feta — and a dollop of yogurt if you so desire — adds a cooling touch. Pita or crusty bread soaks up more of the juices.
Serves 4. – Susan Puckett
- 4 red bell peppers (or any color)
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 3 cups cooked white beans (or two 15-ounce cans), rinsed
- 3 to 4 cups stemmed, chopped kale, spinach, or other dark leafy greens
- 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon harissa paste or sauce (or ½ teaspoon smoked paprika)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon vinegar (any kind) or lemon juice, plus more, if needed
- Plain yogurt and warmed pita or crusty bread for serving, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large cast-iron skillet, toss the bell peppers with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season lightly with salt. Roast on their sides, flipping halfway through, until browned and starting to wrinkle, 40 to 45 minutes.
- Transfer the roasted peppers to a plate. To the skillet, add the beans, greens, garlic, harissa or paprika, oregano, red pepper flakes, a few grindings of black pepper, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir well, taste for seasoning, and sprinkle with feta.
- Set the roasted peppers on top of the beans, return to the oven, and roast until the beans are hot and the greens wilted, about 10 minutes.
- Drizzle the beans with the vinegar. Serve each person a helping of beans along with a whole pepper. They can core and scrape out the seeds as they eat, allowing the juices within to flavor the bean mixture.
- Serve with pita, yogurt, and more oil and vinegar on the side, if desired.
Susan Puckett is an Atlanta-based food writer and cookbook author.
Interested in another tasty, healthy recipe? Click HERE!