Not all my Adventures in Domesticity are winners. Take, for example, this very simple stuffed pepper recipe from Martha Stewart’s website. It calls for bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, basil, ground pepper, and olive oil. Can’t go wrong with that, right?

A few pics after the jump…In lieu of describing the steps, I’m just going to show you the recipe right here:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in top third. Place bell pepper halves, cut sides up, in a baking dish. Toss together tomatoes, feta, thyme, and basil in a medium bowl; season with black pepper. Fill each pepper with tomato and feta mixture, dividing evenly. Drizzle each with oil.

Bake stuffed peppers, covered with aluminum foil, until they begin to soften, about 30 minutes. Remove foil; continue to bake until tomatoes begin to burst and cheese turns light brown, 13 to 15 minutes more. Remove stuffed peppers from oven, and serve warm.

Seems easy enough. Here are my peppers, ready for roasting:

I mean, my mouth was already watering at this stage.

45 minutes later, my apartment was filled with all sorts of heavenly odors. You can only imagine my excitement when I pulled this beautiful sight out of the oven:


Clearly I was en route to a charming, vegetarian dinner:


One problem: the stuffed peppers tasted like SH*T. (I bleep myself only because we’re in the presence of Martha).

Truly, this was terrible. I threw it out. I never throw my food out. I’m too cheap to do that.

So what went wrong? In retrospect, the lack of salt was the real culprit. I thought it was odd that the recipe didn’t call for any sort of salt, but I assumed it was intentional. But no. NO I SAY. Clearly someone forgot to add this crucial element to the mix. Without salt, this whole thing tasted like… like… I don’t even know. It was bad enough that I don’t even want to attempt it again. However, since all you good people of the internet have not been traumatized by this recipe, you might want to give it a whirl, assuming that you salt generously. Please, please do.

Martha, you should know better! (And technically, so should have I).

2 replies on “ADVENTURES IN DOMESTICITY: When Bad Things Happen To Good Peppers”

  1. Hi Ben. I’m amazed how many recipes leave out salt. Doesn’t Tom Colicchio stamp his feet on a weekly basis about how important seasoning is? I’m not a shill for the food network, but try this recipe:
    I’ve made it many times and the non-vegetarians in the family love it too. I think it’s the sliced garlic that makes it incredible. She doesn’t mention salt, only pepper, in her recipe. Add salt and pepper before cooking and a cook crack of sea salt from your salt grinder right before eating is great. A nice crusty bread to sop up the juices really makes this a meal.

  2. Feta is gross…hate the stuff like you hate berries.
    Parmesan and buttered breadcrumbs, cut the tomatoes in half at least might have been a little bit better.
    Martha Stewart shouldn’t have let this recipe have her name on it…shame on her.

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