When I lived in Israel, almost 40 years ago, I was lucky to have a home cook, Haya, who was raised in Bulgaria, teach me some authentic Middle Eastern recipes. She would take me to the Tel Aviv greenmarket where we would buy fresh vegetables to be made into amazing dishes that same day. Haya prepared this recipe using the long, light green Hungarian wax peppers. She also used fresh feta cheese as well as a local version of queso blanco. Here in the States, I have always made this dish using whole milk ricotta. Haya never measured ingredients, and when I prepare her recipes, I confess that I don't either. Haya would always use a "tipa" (touch) of this and that. I recently made this dish in anticipation of submitting it to food52, and so made an attempt to measure to the best of my ability! Over the years my family has enjoyed this dish the most when I use red bell peppers. The Hebrew pronunciation of this dish is "Peep-el-eem Mee-mouh-lah-eem". If you want to make this gluten free, eliminate the flour. —Bevi
red, orange, yellow or green bell peppers, Hungarian Wax peppers, poblano peppers, cubanelle peppers
whole milk ricotta cheese
package of feta cheese, or "pre-crumbled"
grated Parmesan cheese, plus a little extra for topping
crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
In This Recipe
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F. When the oven is ready, place the red peppers in the middle of the oven right on the oven rack. Have a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil placed on the bottom of the oven to catch juices. You can also place the peppers directly on a parchment-line baking sheet.
Roast the peppers, turning often when the skins of the peppers begin to blacken. When the peppers have a good char and the skins have pulled away from the peppers, take out the peppers and place them in a glass bowl to cool, or a brown paper bag that you place on a large dish. When done, reduce the oven heat to 375 F. Keep the foiled-lined baking sheet in the oven.
While the peppers are roasting, you can add and mix all of the other ingredients except the olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste before you fill the peppers.
When the peppers have cooled, remove the skins and the seeds. Drain the pepper liquids into a cup, and add to the cheese mixture. The liquid is sweet and fragrant and will add a layer of flavor to the filling. Place the peppers in a glass pie plate or round, shallow baking dish.
Stuff each pepper with the cheese mixture. The peppers should nicely fit into the baking dish or pie plate. If the peppers split, do not worry - simply spoon the filling on top of a section of the pepper and fold over any loose pieces. The appearance of the dish greatly changes once it is baked and ready to serve. Spoon the remaining cheese mixture in the crevices between the peppers.
Sprinkle a light amount of extra parmesan cheese over the peppers, and "juj" the olive oil on top of the whole dish.
Bake in the middle of the 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes. You may need to drain the juices that accumulate in cooking once to prevent over spillage. The filling will puff up, and the dish will have a souffle-like appearance.
Take out of oven and let cool for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving with a simple salad and bread.