Herb Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers
This was a great year for growing peppers in my garden. With so many of them, I was running out of my usual pepper recipes to tackle. I had made these once before, but they were even better with the peppers from our garden! Crackers and cheese are great for snacking, but if you want a great meal that looks impressive but is actually easy to make, try these great herb goat cheese stuffed peppers.
Who doesn’t love a good local soft goat cheese? Not only does goat cheese have great earthy flavors, but it is in some cases better for you than cow’s milk cheeses. It contains probiotics (the good-for-you bacteria), is easier to digest than some of the other cheeses, is a great source of vitamin A, and is higher than cow’s milk cheeses in both calcium and protein!
I am lucky enough to live in the state of Vermont where there is are many opportunities to eat fresh local goat cheeses. One of my favorites when looking for a good hard cheese comes from Consider Bardwell Farm over in West Pawlet, Vermont. Their “Danby” goat cheese is extra-aged and has a sharp flavor. For soft flavored cheeses, Blue Ledge Farm over in Leicester, Vermont has an amazing Maple Chevre made with pure Vermont maple syrup! For cooking, I like to use the fresh Chevre that is made at the Rowland Agricultural Center at Hildene Farm. Hildene is a historical site in Manchester, Vermont and is the Lincoln Family Home. They have beautiful pasture land where they graze their goats and cows. The historic home is wonderful to tour and their gift shop has a great selection of Vermont products along with the cheese produced on site. I enjoy the drive down there and like supporting the ongoing agricultural programs at Hildene.
For this recipe, I used the Hildene Chevre along with store bought 1/3 less fat cream cheese. I have found no flavor or consistency differences when using 1/3 less fat cream cheese in any of my recipes.
1 8oz. package of 1/3 less fat cream cheese at room temperature
1 8oz. package of soft goat cheese at room temperature
5 sprigs of fresh basil
3 sprigs of fresh sage
2 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 cup of fine bread crumbs (can be plain or seasoned)
About 10-15 small/medium peppers (ends and seeds removed)
Begin by cleaning out your peppers. You will want to cut the tops off, clean out the seeds, and try to leave your peppers whole.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the cream cheese and goat cheese with a rubber spatula. Chop your herbs fine (if using dried herbs, use one tablespoon of each) then add to the cheese mixture along with the bread crumbs. Mix well.
Using a round knife or spoon, fill each of the peppers with the cheese mixture.
Once filled, line up on a greased 9×13 inch glass baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until the peppers have softened and the top of the cheese mixture has browned slightly. Serve hot with a side of wild or brown rice.