Sweet bell peppers are a great addition to countless dishes in both raw and cooked form.
They add colour, often crunch and, of course, flavour. They also make a great vessel for other ingredients.
I have fond memories of my mother stuffing sweet green peppers with a mixture of ground meat and rice and then smothering them with tomato sauce. The smell of them baking was irresistible.
My stuffed pepper recipe this week is for a meatless version that includes mushrooms, spinach, cheese, fresh sage and barley. these hearty peppers can make a meal for lunch or be a side dish for dinner.
2 large, sweet red or yellow bell peppers
2 tbsp. (25 ml) butter
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp. (15 ml) chopped sage
2 cups (500 ml) chopped specialty mushrooms
3 cups (750 ml) of baby spinach
1½ cups (375 ml) of cooked barley or farro*
1 cup (250 ml) grated Emmental cheese
1 tbsp. (15 ml) melted butter
½ cup (125 ml) Romano cheese
½ cup (125 ml) bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove ribs and stem. Set aside.
Heat butter in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sage and cook until onions are soft. Add mushrooms and cook until soft and light golden. Stir in spinach until wilted. Transfer to a bowl and add barley and Emmental cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place filling in each pepper half. Place peppers in a shallow casserole dish.
Preheat oven to 375 F (180 C). Combine melted butter, Romano cheese, and breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Sprinkle cheese/breadcrumb mixture on top of stuffed peppers. Loosely tent peppers with a piece of foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and bake further 20-25 minutes or until topping is golden and peppers are tender.
*Farro is an ancient grain that is a member of the wheat family
Editor’s note: Back by popular demand, the Londoner is reprinting a selection of Jill Wilcox’s recipes. This one was originally published Nov. 4, 2017. Enjoy!