Baked Stuffed Peppers with Freekeh

Baked Stuffed Peppers with Freekeh

Start to finish: 1 hour 40 minutes (40 minutes active)

  • 1/2 cup cracked freekeh or Grain of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 medium zucchini (about 1 pound), coarsely shredded, preferably using a food processor
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup corn kernels (about 1 ear of corn)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 red, yellow or orange bell peppers, or a mix
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup shredded basil

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F.

In a small saucepan over medium-high, combine the freekeh, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the water. 

  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover tightly, and cook for 20 minutes. 
  • Fluff with a fork and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. 
  • Drain any excess liquid and transfer the freekeh to a bowl.

Meanwhile, in a colander toss the zucchini with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and let drain over the sink.

In a medium skillet over medium, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. 

  • Add the onion to the freekeh. 
  • Working with small handfuls, squeeze the zucchini to remove excess liquid, then add to the freekeh, along with the corn and feta.

Cut the peppers in half from top to bottom, leaving the stem intact if possible. 

  • Remove and discard the seeds and ribs. 
  • Brush a rimmed baking sheet with oil and arrange the peppers, cut sides down, on the pan. 
  • In a small bowl toss the tomatoes with the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil. 
  • Sprinkle with a bit of salt, then arrange in an even layer on the baking sheet.

Roast the peppers and tomatoes on the oven bottom shelf for 10 minutes, or until the cut edges of the peppers are browned and the tomatoes are softened and blistered in spots. 

  • Transfer the tomatoes to the bowl with the freekeh. 
  • Turn the pepper halves over, season with salt and pepper, then roast until softened slightly, about another 5 minutes. 
  • Season the freekeh mixture with salt and pepper.

Reduce the oven to 400 degrees F. 

  • Mound the filling in the cavity of each pepper half
  • Bake the peppers on the oven on middle shelf until hot, about 10 minutes.
  • Top each with basil.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (2 stuffed halves)

  • 360 calories 
  • 19 g fat 
  • 41 g carbohydrate
  • 13 g protein

KitchenWise is an Associated Press column by chef Sara Moulton that uses delicious recipes to teach basic cooking skills. 

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