Stuffed Peppers have always been a favorite of mine. Especially this time of year when I have peppers in my garden. I’ve been picking the peppers a little small, so today when I had a bunch of them, I knew I wanted to stuff those little babies. They are at various stages of yellow, orange and red. I like to leave the peppers on the vine until they are at least yellow, but even better, orange and then red.
I have fallen in love with farro, a delicious ancient grain that has a chewy, nutty taste. Farro can stand in for rice, barley, bugler or any other grain in a recipe, and since I had some farro already cooked for a salad, I used it in place of rice for these stuffed peppers.
Spanish cooking is all about simple spices and paprika, or pimentón is frequently the star. Smoky Spanish paprika is different from Hungarian paprika, but if you can’t find the Spanish variety, you can substitute a spicy Hungarian paprika.
Parsley is also used extensively in Spanish dishes, so these stuffed peppers are accompanied by a simple and fresh salsa verde of parsley, garlic and olive oil. This dish was so easy to make, and the nutty, chewiness of the farro, with smoky paprika, sweet peppers and the bright freshness of parsley came together beautifully. A simple salad of fresh tomato and cucumber on the side made a delicious dinner.
This can easily be a vegetarian option, by omitting the ground beef, increasing the farro, and adding more tomatoes.
I didn’t want to use the oven, instead I cooked the filling in a skillet while the peppers were on the grill and filled them after, leaving them in a skillet on the grill just long enough to soften the peppers further.
- 8 – 10 small bell peppers, cut length wise,cored and seeded.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 small onion.diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup cooked farro
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
Heat grill to medium high and brush with oil. Put peppers, cut side down on grill and cook until cut side is just starting to char. Remove from grill and place in a cast iron or other grill proof skillet, cut side up and set aside. In a skillet, heat olive oil on medium and cook onion and garlic until softened. Add paprika and cayenne, and cook, stirring until fragrant. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up with a spoon until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in farro, tomato, salt and pepper.
Spoon filling into the cut peppers, pushing with a spoon to fill each pepper, with a mound on top. Return filled peppers to the grill. Place on indirect heat and close the lid.
Put parsley, garlic, olive oil and salt in a blender or food processor (I used my magic bullet) and process until you have a bright green sauce.
Remove peppers from the grill and serve with salsa verde.