About every other year, just out of nowhere, I get a sudden urge to make stuffed peppers. This desire took hold over the weekend, and instead of cooking up the usual ground meat and rice mixture, I opted to grill a sausage and zucchini variety.
While a standard stuffed pepper recipe would call for the meat to be cooked before stuffing, this particular one had me make a mixture of sweet Italian sausage, zucchini, red onion, breadcrumbs, egg, and rosemary to fill the red peppers. The combo of raw meat and zucchini ended up being a fatal flaw, as the innards became a watery mess that tasted mostly like boiled sausage--not good eats. Beyond that, the sausage-to-zucchini-to-breadcrumb ratio was not in harmony, allowing the sausage to dominate all the other flavors, resulting in a very heavy meal that did not sit easy in the stomach.
Needless to say, this did not end up fulfilling my stuffed pepper craving, so it probably won't be long until I'm out grilling more, but in a more traditional manner next time.
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 1 large)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 6 small to medium-size red bell peppers, tops removed and seeded
Mix first 9 ingredients in large bowl until well blended. Fill pepper with sausage mixture, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Sit each pepper on a piece of aluminum foil and push the sides in around the pepper, forming a base to keep the pepper upright and steady on the grill.
Light a chimney 3/4 full of charcoal. When charcoal is fully lit and covered in gray ash, pour coals out and arrange them on one side of the charcoal grate, keeping the other side empty. Place the peppers on the cool side of the grill and cover. Cook until tops are browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the filling registers 165°F, about 1/2 an hour. Transfer peppers to platter. allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve.