Just before we left the Cloud Mountain Farm Center Fall Fruit Festival this year (2013), I made a trip through the farm store to find something to feature in a recipe. I chose something not always recognized as “fruit”–peppers.
I confess I love peppers. I love the look of them, the smell of them, and especially the taste of them.
It took me awhile to decide whether to use sweet peppers or hot peppers (I don’t like too much heat). I finally chose some Krimzon Lees, a pepper labeled “sweet with just a little heat.” They turned out to be perfect!
- 1 cup yogurt (Grace Harbor Farms, Custer)
- 2 large Krimzon Lee peppers, or any long sweet pepper (Cloud Mountain Farm Center, Everson)
- ½ tsp dried thyme (home garden, Lummi Island)
- ½ tsp dried basil (home dehydrated with basil from Sumas River Farm, Sumas)
- ¼ tsp smoked cayenne pepper, finely minced or ground (Rabbit Fields Farm, Everson)
- Start yogurt cheese the night before you make the rest of the recipe. Line a colander with clean muslin or several layers of cheesecloth and set inside a large bowl. The bottom of the colander should be at least an inch above the bottom of the bowl to allow room for liquid to drain from the yogurt. Put 1 cup of yogurt onto the muslin, and place all in the refrigerator overnight (at least 8 hours).
- By morning you will have yogurt cheese remaining in the muslin, and liquid whey in the bowl. Yogurt whey can be used to replace some of the water in bread recipes, or can be used as a beneficial bacterial starter for fermenting sauerkraut. (See whatcomlocavore.com/homemade-sauerkraut for full instructions.) If you want thicker cheese, let it drain longer until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or covering with aluminum foil.
- Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes inside.
- In a small bowl, mix the yogurt cheese and herbs well. Using a spoon, stuff the pepper halves with the cheese mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes until the cheese begins to lightly brown. The peppers will have softened, so remove them from the pan carefully to serve.