Stuffed Banana Peppers With Lentils or Pork Sausage


10-12 large banana peppers 1/2 head purple or green cabbage, sliced thinly and chopped into short strands 1 medium yellow onion sliced thinly 1 small fennel bulb sliced thinly 3 stalks of celery, minced 3-4 cloves of garlic 1 tsp paprika or cayenne pepper Juice from 1/2 lemon Salt and pepper to taste

For vegetarian recipe add: 1/2 cup (dry) french green lentils, cooked but still firm, and cooled 1/2 cup feta or grated aged cheese like gruyere, dubliner, or parmesan (for lentil version only)

For sausage recipe add: 1/2 lb ground sausage (I used Hoe Hop farms) 4 slices of brown bread, toasted until dry (for sausage version only)

Method: Combine ingredients in a bowl.  Make a slit in the banana peppers lengthwise and push the stuffing into the peppers.  Place the stuffed peppers in a lightly oiled baking dish.  Toss some sungold cherry tomatoes into the bottom of the dish, and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until they are as soft as you like them.  For the sausage stuffed peppers, make sure the sausage has reached 145 degrees before removing from the oven.

Serve with oven-roasted tomatoes and Toasted Coconut Jerk Sauce.

Toasted Coconut Jerk Sauce: 1 cup unsweetened first-pressed coconut milk (from can) 1/4 cup unsweetened small-shred coconut 1 Tbs Alchemy Spice Jamaican Jerk spice blend 10-15 basil leaves 1 tsp local honey 1 Tbs lemon juice

Place coconut in a pan and stir constantly over med-high heat until it begins to brown (about 1 minute).  Remove from heat and place in blender with other ingredients.  Puree until smooth.