Kate Heyhoe

Kate's Global Kitchen


Grilled Toma Bella
or Bell Pepper Fundido

by Kate Heyhoe


Serves 4 as an appetizer or side dish

Here, colorful peppers are filled with a mix of cheeses, then grilled. The sweet, warm peppers are both slightly crisp and crunchy and charred on the bottom. Serve these as a side dish or appetizer, right from the grill. Besides the soft and tangy goat cheese, this recipe calls for Cheddar, but other good melting cheeses work well, including smoked mozzarella, Gouda, and Monterey Jack.

4 Toma Bellas, or medium bell peppers (any color)
Olive oil
4 ounces goat cheese (such as chevre)
2 to 4 ounces shredded Cheddar
Freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat the grill.

2. Cut the tops off the Toma Bellas and remove the core, seeds, and membranes. If using bell peppers, slice the peppers lengthwise into 2 to 4 pieces. All peppers are shaped differently, but the goal is to end up with large, curved or boat-shaped pieces that can hold other ingredients. Discard the cores, seeds, and membranes. Brush the olive oil on all sides of the peppers. Fill the Toma Bellas with equal amounts of goat cheese, and sprinkle the shredded cheese on top. For the peppers, place equal amounts of both cheeses on the inside of the peppers. Finish with fresh cracked pepper to taste.

3. Set the Toma Bellas or the peppers on the hot grill, skin side down. Cover the grill with a lid or tent with foil to hold in the heat. Grill over medium heat 5 to 10 minutes, or until the peppers are charred on the bottom but still firm. If the cheese is not yet melted, move the Toma Bellas or peppers further from the heat, to an upper rack or on the side of the grill. Cover and let bake until the cheese melts. Serve warm on small plates, with forks and knives (they're great on top of a mixed salad of baby greens and toasted nuts).


Kate's Global Kitchen for September 2003:
9/05/03     Looks Can Be Deceiving: Specialty Fruit and Produce
9/12/03     Squash Blossom Fever
9/19/03     Eating Well: It's All in Who You Know
9/26/03     Lemons in Hiding


Copyright © 2003, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.


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