1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
6 small bell peppers, mixed colors, seeded and halved
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus extra for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 small firm eggplant, trimmed of half the skin, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 fresh chili pepper, such as Fresno, thinly sliced, or 1 teaspoon dried crushed pepper
1 small to medium firm zucchini, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup mint leaves (a handful), chopped
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup crumbled feta or ricotta salata cheese
Pre-heat the oven to 450°F.
Bring the quinoa and stock to a boil. Cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the grain looks translucent, 12-15 minutes, then fluff with a fork. You will have about 4 cups of cooked grain. Drizzle the bell pepper halves with EVOO and season both sides with salt and pepper. Roast cut-side down until the skins begin to char and the peppers are just tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature, then arrange in a baking dish cut-side up.
Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons EVOO, three turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, eggplant, onions and chili peppers and season with salt and pepper. Cook, partially covered, to tender, 10-12 minutes. Add the herbs and tomatoes and combine with the quinoa.
Fill the pepper halves with the quinoa and vegetable stuffing and drizzle with EVOO. Cool and chill for a make-ahead meal. To serve, roast in a 375°F oven until the peppers are hot through. Serve the pepper halves topped with lots of cheese crumbles.