We had my boyfriend's family over for his birthday in April and he wanted a buffet meal that people could help themselves to and eat while standing up. His mum does great buffets on Boxing Day with the same dishes every year - quiche, cocktail sausages, pate etc - and so I wanted to do something a bit different. I had the idea of an Italian themed buffet which worked really well, as I could buy a lot of things ready made and could prepare some other things in advance. One thing I made was these Italian stuffed peppers.
They are very easy to make and don't take long; you can do them while you've got the oven on for something else and then serve them either hot or cold which makes them ideal for buffets. They are also a good substantial vegetarian option.
To begin, slice some red peppers in half and remove the seeds. Turn the peppers so the cut side is facing down and place on a piece of baking foil. Roast in the oven at about 180C for about 15-20 minutes until the skins are just starting to char.
I used Uncle Ben's microwave risotto rice which is brilliant - you add water to the pouch and microwave it for two minutes and have a lovely risotto. As these were for vegetarians I used the tomato and herb flavour, and added some chopped onion to the rice mixture.
Spoon the rice into the pepper halves, and dot with cubes of mozzarella.
Return to the oven or grill to heat through just before serving (though you could also serve these cold later) so that the cheese melts. I thought these were delicious!
I'm sharing these with the Family Foodies challenge, hosted by Vanesther at Bangers & Mash, as the theme this month is Italian food. These are fairly child-friendly to make (you could let your children add the filling to the peppers) and also to eat - it's a good way to introduce them to peppers.
I'm also entering this in the Extra Veg challenge, which is hosted this month by Kate at Veggie Desserts on behalf of Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and Michelle at Utterly Scrummy.