Waitrose do little red cherry peppers stuffed with a sardine mush as part of the Delicatezze range, and they're gorgeous but very expensive. So when I saw packs of baby orange bell peppers in LIDL the other day, I took them home and did things.
- 6 baby bell peppers
- 2 tins sardines (boneless, skinless, in oil)
- Big handful organic stoned dates
- Balsamic glaze (the vinegar reduced until it's a thick syrup)
- Lemon juice
- Teaspoon chopped roast garlic
- Pine nuts
Steam the peppers whole for 20 minutes (which made them very soft, a shorter time would have worked). Cool.
Pour off some of the oil from the sardines, not too much because you need the moistness. Mash the sardines. Process the dates with the garlic, some balsamic and lemon until it's a thick slurry. Mix into the sardines, add the pine nuts and set aside to mature for a couple of hours.
Cut the stem ends off the peppers, clean inside if necessary, and stuff with the sardine mixture.
There was enough filling to do at least another 6 peppers, it was great as a spread on bread and just wet enough to be a dip for tortilla chips.
Next time: could do with a bit of salt. Additions could include chopped herbs, anchovies for the salt, shredded lemon peel. We ate them straight away, you could put them in a shallow bowl and dress with an oil and lemon dressing and leave for a bit. Room temperature is probably better than fridge cold. Raisins would do instead of dates, and might be a bit sweeter – they are what is in the Waitrose ones.
EDITED: whoops, forgot the garlic.