Red Pepper Boats

Serves 6

Sweet, red bell-pepper boats are the perfect little starter for Valentine’s Day. The mix of flavors in the filling is an explosion in your mouth that tempts you to have more than one or two or…

6 sweet red bell peppers
1/3 pound Genoa salami with black peppercorns, diced
10 black oil-cured olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Asiago cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil a 13-inch-by-9-inch baking dish.

2. Cut away the stem tops of the peppers. Then cut the peppers in half length-wise and then into quarters; remove the seeds and white membranes. Arrange the quarters cut side up in the prepared dish.

3. In a food processor, pulse together the salami, olives and thyme to create a paste-like consistency. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Stir in the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the paste evenly on the pepper quarters.

4. Bake for 45 minutes or until the peppers are tender when pierced with a fork. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and continue cooking until the cheese is melted. Serve warm.