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  Panzanella and Tuna Stuffed Peppers

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Panzanella salad is a popular Tuscan salad that transforms dry, day-old bread into something spectacular with the addition of tomatoes, herbs and olive oil.  Here, the concept is used to create a simple to prepare filling for stuffed peppers a change from the traditional recipe calling for ground beef and long cooking times.  Warm, crispy and savory perfect for a quick dinner.

1 bell pepper

Olive or vegetable oil to brush on the pepper

1 cup dried or toasted bread cubes ( to inch)

1, 4.5 oz of chunk tuna packed in water, drained

8 cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered

2 tbs fresh, chopped parsley

1 tbs fresh, chopped basil or 2 tsp dried

2 green onions, -inch slices

-1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus, more for top)

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tbs olive or vegetable oil

1 tbs white or red wine vinegar

1 egg, slightly beaten

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the pepper in half, lengthwise to create to shallow halves. Use a paring knife to carefully remove the seed bulb and any thick ribs tap to remove loose seeds.  Brush or rub the pepper inside and out with oil and place on cooking sheet to bake while preparing stuffing about 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make your filling. Toss together the bread, tuna, tomatoes, herbs and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk together the oil and vinegar and toss with filling. Whisk the egg and toss to coat (this helps bind the filling together. Remove the peppers from the oven, and stuff each half making a hearty, rounded top.  Sprinkle with a little extra cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Makes one hearty serving or two servings if served with a salad, couscous or pasta salad.

Copyright 2009.