Cheese. Melted cheese. It’s probably one of these best foodstuffs on Earth, unless you count chocolate … but then again, I consider chocolate to be more of a medication, per se, than a food.
And besides, chocolate probably wouldn’t be very good stuffed inside a grilled pepper. But cheese … yes.
In this case, we’ve got four different cheeses: ricotta for body and flavor along with tangy herbed goat cheese, plus Parmesan and mozzarella for that melty goodness. As if grilled peppers all by themselves weren’t divine enough … now I had to go and get obsessed with this amazing cheese-stuffed version.
I originally saw the idea on Food & Wine’s website. Well, actually, first on Pinterest, and then on Food & Wine. And though Food & Wine “perfected this recipe in our test kitchen,” we too have played with the filling ingredients in our normal-everyday-person kitchen and grilled them a few times on our humble outdoor barbecue. All in the name of bringing you the best recipe, of course. We sacrifice like that. We’re givers.
In fact, we’ll probably continue to “perfect” this recipe all summer long. And we think you should too.
Also note: The recipe calls for bell peppers, but poblano or anaheim peppers work wonderfully too. Or mix them up and use one or two of each. We tried jalapenos, but they were wayyy too spicy for my tastes … and I generally like some heat!
- 4 – 6 small to medium bell peppers
- ½ cup mozzarella, shredded
- 4 oz. herbed goat cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- Pinch coarse salt
- Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- 4 – 6 wooden toothpicks soaked in water for at least 10 minutes
- Wash and dry the peppers, then with a small paring knife, cut the top almost all of the way around, leaving it attached but providing a large enough hole to get most of the membrane and seeds out. Carefully lift the top back and remove the membrane bits and seeds inside; discard. (If you accidentally break the top all of the way off, don’t worry! We’ll address that in a bit.)
- In a small bowl with a fork, mix together the ricotta, herbed goat cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
- Using the fork, scoop the cheese mixture inside each pepper, filling the pepper. Replace the top and secure with one or two toothpicks (or if the top broke all the way off, just fasten it back on).
- Grill peppers on medium-high heat, about 375 degrees, turning occasionally with tongs. Cook for about 8 – 10 minutes, or until the peppers blister and have blackened lines on all sides, and the cheese mixture inside is piping hot.
- Transfer the peppers to plates and serve.
- You can make these ahead, too – refrigerate up to 24 hours. Just bring them to room temperature – some time on the counter for about 30 minutes should suffice – before grilling.