This would be one of my daughter’s favourite dishes. Oddly enough, she doesn’t care for bell peppers and this recipe calls for A LOT of bell peppers. In fact, I would say bell peppers make this dish. Along with the parsley, it would be the only ingredient that you cannot substitute for something else. I like to use at least 3 different colours: the classics red, orange and yellow. I find this does so much for the visual aspect of the dish.
Since she likes it so much, I decided to make one and bring it to my parents’ to eat there. This happens to be the ultimate portable dish. All you need is a piece of aluminium foil, so you don’t risk of leaving any of your favourite dishware behind. Plus, it’s so extremely easy to carry around. No danger of spilling, tilting over or being damaged in transportation here! Just put it in a bag and drop in on the passenger’s seat (if available) and you’re good to go.
I used to make this stuffed bread with Ementhal cheese instead of cottage. I have to admit that the Ementhal added a lot of depth to this dish, but it also added a lot of extra calories and fat while not being quite as generous as cottage in the protein department. Since there is no other source of protein in this dish, I figured cottage would be an excellent choice and it is. Next time, however, I might go half and half, because I truly miss the distinctive flavour of the Ementhal.
It is really important that you choose a loaf of bread that is very dense with a nice, crispy crust. Of course, go with whole wheat or whole grain! As for the olives, I use Kalamata, but any olive would do, as long as it has a lot of flavour. I don’t think I would go for the canned black olives here; they are a bit too bland. Moroccan would work beautifully, I think. Black or purple would be a better choice as they will also benefit the beautiful array of colours that this dish has to offer. It’s like Autumn in a bun!
- 1 loaf whole wheat/grain bread
- ½ of each: red, orange and yellow bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup sliced kalamata olives
- 500g 1% cottage cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the top off the loaf and hollow it, leaving as little of the crumb as you possibly can, without damaging the crust.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together (except bread, of course!)
- Tear about half the bread crumb into bite size pieces and add that to the stuffing you just mixed. (Save the rest to make breadcrumbs)
- Give the mixture a good stir and return to the hollowed out bread. You’ll want to press it in really well; while it does look like a lot of stuffing, you should be able to fit it all in.
- Replace top of bread and wrap in aluminium foil. If possible, refrigerate until the next day. It will taste even better the next day, as the flavours will have had time to develop.
- This dish can be eaten cold but it’s even better when slightly heated in a 375F degree oven, for about 20 minutes. This will crisp and warm up the exterior, while leaving the inside fresh and cold. It’s like eating a refreshing salad with warm piece of bread. If you choose to heat it up, leave it in the foil but open it up halfway.