Mini sweet peppers stuffed with a southwest black bean dip make a perfect small-plate dinner or appetizer for summer entertaining.
You know those little mini peppers that have popped up in grocery stores everywhere? First, how cute are they? And the fact that you don’t have to slice, core, seed… Just pop them, bite off the stem (if there is one) and voila! You’re eating more veggies! Well, I recently discovered that with just a tiny bit more work, they also make a fun small-plate appetizer, when you stuff them with something delicious.
This month’s Recipe ReDux theme is Small Plates for Sunny Days, and I think stuffed mini sweet peppers totally fit the bill. Summer is all about keeping it easy, and these take just a few minutes to prepare. Plus, they’re bright and colorful, cool and crunchy, and just perfect when you’re entertaining on the fly, or in my case (‘cause I might have mentioned a few times that I’m an empty nester) they’re all I need for a quick dinner. Well, maybe a cold glass of Pino Grigio too.
I love the southwest flavors in this black bean dip, and I added a few crumbles of queso fresco (a yummy Mexican cheese that you can find in the gourmet cheese section) for a salty bite. You can stuff these and pop them under the broiler for a minute to warm them and melt the cheese if you like, or just serve them cold and crunchy. Totally your call.
- 1-1 pound bag of mini sweet peppers
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno minced
- 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro plus additional for garnish if desired
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup queso fresco divided
Rinse and pat dry the mini peppers.
Slice the peppers lengthwise, and remove any excess seeds.
Heat the oil in a saute pan on medium-high heat.
Sauté the onions, garlic and peppers just until softened - about 3-4 minutes.
Place the sautéed vegetables, black beans, lime juice, cilantro, salt and about half of the queso into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Puree until smooth.
Spoon the black bean dip mixture into the mini peppers, and sprinkle with the remaining queso.
Serve at room temperature, or if desired, broil the stuffed peppers just until the bean dip is heated through and the cheese melts.
Garnish with additional minced cilantro.
Any leftover stuffed peppers will keep covered, in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
Do you call recipes like this small plates? Or tapas? Or appetizers? Or hors-d’oeuvres? Either way, they’re all good – check out some of my other favorite Appetizers for Dinner ideas.
Please also visit some of the blogs and recipes below for more healthy summer small plate recipes!
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