With the CSA season finally upon us, stuffed peppers tend to make an appearance quite often in our house and there is no more eagerly anticipated adaption than the giardiniera-stuffed peppers. With his Chicagoan background, Mr. du jour first introduced me to these deliciously spicy, pickled vegetables, considered a mainstay condiment on Italian Beef and other sandwiches but also eaten straight out of the jar as a snack. As it turns out, it’s also fabulous in stuffed peppers where the slight vinegar tang jives right along with the sweet pepper and spicy sausage, plus it’s an easy way to pack in more veggies! Typically giardiniera contains any assortment of cauliflower, carrots, roasted sweet peppers, hot peppers, olives, or celery. For this dish, however, we set aside our Chicago-style giardiniera (2.5 cups would put our mouths on fire!) and reach for the Italian-style (a hot pepper free zone), which is available at any grocery store.
Adapted from The Six Ingredient Solution by America’s Test Kitchen
2 c. cooked rice
4 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and halved
2.5 c. jarred giardiniera (Italian-style), rinsed well and finely chopped
12 to 16 ounces spicy sausage, casings removed
1 large onion, chopped
2 c. pepper jack cheese, shredded
6 chives, sliced (optional)
- Make your rice first, using your favorite method for doing so. Set aside.
- Microwave halved peppers on a plate, cut side down, for 8 minutes.
- Using a large nonstick skillet, cook sausage, giardiniera and onions over medium-high heat. Make sure to break apart the sausage into bite-sized chunks and cook until browned, between 5-8 minutes. Stir in your cooked rice along with 1 cup of shredded cheese. Season to taste.
- Heat broiler and place peppers on a baking sheet, cut side up. Fill each pepper with the rice mixture and sprinkle evenly with remaining cup of cheese. Broil for 3-4 minutes,until starting to brown. Sprinkle with chives and enjoy.