Margarita Sweet Peppers (in the raw)

If you like your food fresh and you’re trying to keep it raw, this one’s for you.  Great as it is, the variations you can indulge in with this one are innumerable, like adding Parmesan, onions, or garlic to the mix.  Serve as a bed for poached salmon.  How about drizzle balsamic glaze over the peppers, maybe include a few avocado slivers?   From pasta to fish, lettuce to chips, these peppers be the hit of the party.  You’ll need a food processor for this recipe, unless you’re a really good chopper!

Margarita Sweet Peppers

4 large sweet red peppers, seeded and cores removed

1 can garbanzo beans, drained (maybe less, depending on your taste)

10 fresh basil leaves

goat cheese

garlic salt and pepper to taste

romaine lettuce

fresh lime

Once your peppers are cored and seeded, cut away stems and slice lengthwise into quarters.  Wash your basil leaves and completely dry before use in the food processor.  When ready, turn on your processor and begin adding peppers,  followed immediately by the basil and then garbanzo beans.  Remove from food processor and place peppers in a bowl.  Add garlic salt and pepper to taste.  At this point, you’ll want to drain any excess liquid from your peppers.  A fine colander will do the trick or you can even do this by hand, reserving juice for later use in sauces or veggie drinks. 

Arrange desired amount of romaine lettuce leaves on a platter.  Spoon the red pepper mix on to the leaves, taking care to fill the “cavities” of the each leaf (for ease of eating).  Sprinkle goat cheese over top, followed by a squeeze of fresh lime.  This dish was prepared as an appetizer, but it could be done as a simple salad, too.  Another twist?  Consider using softer lettuce leaves and roll peppers and goat cheese inside, securing together with a toothpick.  Follow with a spritz of lime juice.

Yields about 3 cups.

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