Stuffed Peppers with Fondant Rutabaga & Goat Cheese
This dish from Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty More was inspired by a dish made by Ramael Scully, the head chef at NOPI, during the last stressful stages of preparing for the restaurant opening. Ottolenghi explains that all the madness surrounding the restaurant opening just stopped for a second while they all sat and devoured this comfort food. You could also serve the rutabaga on its own, without the pepper and cheese, as a side to roast beef or pork.
- 2/3 cup (5 oz./150 g) unsalted butter
- 1 large rutabaga, about 2 1/2 lb. (1.25 kg), peeled and cut into 3/8-inch (1-cm) dice
- 1/3 cup (1/3 oz./10 g) fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Scant 1 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 5 Tbs. (1 1/2 oz./45 g) capers, coarsely chopped
- 3 small yellow bell peppers (about 10 oz./280 g total)
- 3 small red bell peppers (about 10 oz./280 g total)
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 6 oz. (185 g) fresh goat cheese, broken into small pieces
- 1/3 cup (1/3 oz./10 g) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the rutabaga, thyme, 1 1/2 tsp. salt and a good grind of pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, spooning the butter over the rutabaga occasionally, until the rutabaga is completely soft and caramelized, about 50 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the rutabaga to a large bowl. Add the Parmesan, garlic and capers to the bowl with the rutabaga and set aside. (The butter remaining in the pan can be saved for cooking carrots or zucchini if you like.)
Preheat an oven to 500°F (260°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the yellow and red peppers in half lengthwise, leaving the stalks intact. Remove the seeds and ribs and arrange the peppers, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Roast until the peppers are slightly charred and the flesh is completely soft, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the peppers from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 425°F (220°C).
Spoon the rutabaga mixture into each pepper half and dot the goat cheese on top. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese colors slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving warm, or serve at room temperature. Top each stuffed pepper with a sprinkle of parsley. Serves 6.
Adapted from Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi, by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ten Speed Press, 2014).