When it comes to nutrition, peppers are loaded with fiber, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese. They are also very versatile, and can be used raw in salads or as crudités, fried, stewed, stuffed and dried. I can’t speak to the taste of the recipes that use bell peppers since, as previously mentioned, they don’t like me. My victims – err, taste testers – say they’re good.
These are the three simplest, fastest ways to prepare peppers. Wash and quarter; remove membranes and seeds (if it’s a hot variety, either wear gloves or wash your hands very thoroughly the minute you’re done. Do NOT touch your eyes!). Then:
- Slice them about 1/4-inch thick and eat raw, plain or with a dip.
- Saute sliced peppers in coconut oil.
- Slice in half and roast on the grill.
Beef and Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 1/2 cups marinara or other tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
- 1 1/2 pound lean ground beef
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 cup finely grated “real” Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano)
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 4 cloves garlic, minced very fine
- 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- pinch of cayenne
- 4 large red bell peppers
Add the olive oil to a saucepan, and lightly brown the onions with a large pinch of salt over medium-high heat. Remove half and reserve for the stuffing. Stir in the rest of the sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer. Pour the sauce into the bottom of a large deep casserole dish. Add all the filling ingredients to a mixing bowl, along with the reserved onions, and stir with a fork, or your hands, until the mixture is combined. Tip: you can cook a small piece of the filling to test the seasoning. Preheat oven to 375 °F F. Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the stem, seeds and white membrane from each pepper. Place the bell peppers in the casserole dish, and fill each pepper with the stuffing. A little additional cheese can be grated over the top if desired. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 20-30 minutes, or until the peppers are very tender. Exact cooking time will depend on size, shape and thickness of the peppers. Best to let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with the sauce spooned over the top.
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 8 ounces grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped peppers, your choice
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 cups dry breadcrumbs or almond meal
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine the cream cheese, Parmesan, peppers and egg yolks in a bowl and mix to form a paste. Shape a 1/2 tablespoonful at a time into 1/4-inch rounds and roll in the bread crumbs/almond meal. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
- 24 sweet peppers (12 red, 12 green)
- 12 onions
- 6 hot peppers or to taste
- 1 quart vinegar
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 Tablespoons salt
Grind all together. Pour hot water over this and let stand 5 minutes; drain. Heat vinegar salt and sugar to boiling, ensuring the salt an sugar are fully dissolved. Pour this hot mixture over peppers and onions. Bring to boil and boil 5 minutes. Seal in sterilized jars.
Chicken Provencal (from Filippo Trapella – philosokitchen.com)
- 1 chicken
- 3 bell peppers, mixed colors
- 8 shallots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 12 oz fresh tomatoes (alternatively, tomato pulp)
- 16 black olives
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp mixed fresh herbs (mint, basil, and parsley)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Salt to taste
First of all, reduce the chicken into pieces (or buy them already separated). The tradition wants the chicken skin on, but if you prefer, discard the skin. Now, peel the shallots and cut them into halves. Then peel and crush the garlic cloves. Finally, cut the bell peppers, discard the stems and seeds, then reduce into pieces or sticks. Pour 6 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil into a skillet (best if cast iron), then place over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, but not smoky, pan-fry the shallots and garlic until golden and slightly brown (not burned). Remove from pan and place into a bowl. In the same skillet and same oil, pan-fry the bell peppers as well. In the same skillet and with the same oil, pan-fry the chicken pieces until golden, then remove the meat and store in a plate, saving the oil. If needed, add more olive oil during the frying. Add the fresh tomato pulp or canned pulp. Place the pan over low heat, add the bell pepper, the shallots, the rosemary and the thyme, then cover and cook until the chicken is well done (about 1 hour and 15 mins). If you are preparing the Chicken Provencal in advance, let the skillet reach room temperature, then store covered into the fridge up to 3 days. Once ready to serve, reheat slowly. Ten minutes before serving, add the black olives and the lemon juice, add salt to taste and keep cooking a few minutes more. Once ready, add the minced fresh herbs and a sprinkle of black pepper, then serve immediately.