Stuffed Peppers with Bulgur-Walnut Pilaf

  • Yield 4-6 servings
  • Prep 25 mins
  • Cook 70 mins

Use warm-colored (red, yellow, and/or orange) bell peppers for this, if you can. They are much sweeter than green ones.

stuffed_peppers_filled_with_walnut_bulgar_pilaf
California Walnut Board

This recipe is written for stuffed whole peppers. It can also be adapted for stuffing half peppers and serving them “open-face.” Get a little fancy on a weeknight with this elegant little dish—and lift your spirits in the process. It’s not a lot of work, especially if you make the pilaf well ahead of time. Once baked, these will keep for up to a week if wrapped tightly and refrigerate. They reheat really well in a microwave or regular oven.

Ingredients

Peppers:
-- Extra-virgin olive oil as needed
4 -- medium-size or small (6-ounce) bell peppers (red, yellow, and/or orange)
Bulgur-Walnut Pilaf:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup uncooked bulgur
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup finely minced chives or scallion
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
3 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
1/2 cup (packed) crumbled feta cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.  Lightly oil a baking tray.
  2. Use a sharp paring knife to cut the stem “fixture” from each pepper, reserving the stems.  Reach inside the peppers with the knife or a spoon to scrape out the pith and seeds.  Do your best to leave the peppers intact in the process.
  3. Spoon in 1/2 cup pilaf per pepper, patiently packing it down as you go.  Place the stems back on top as a plug for the filling (or, if you want to get poetic, as a hat for the pepper).
  4. Brush the outside surface of each pepper with a little additional olive oil, and place them standing upright, if possible, on the prepared tray.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes in the center of the oven.  Let sit for at least 5 minutes; serve hot or warm.
  6. Bulgur-Walnut Pilaf
  7. *Sautéing the uncooked bulgur and walnuts in oil before adding the water will give this dish a deeper, toastier flavor. This keeps for up to a week if stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.  It reheats easily in a microwave.
  8. Place a medium-small skillet (one that has a tight-fitting lid) over medium heat and wait about 1 minute.  Pour in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.
  9. Add the uncooked bulgur, and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until it gives off a toasty smell.  Keep stirring during this process to be sure it doesn’t burn. Pour in the water, place the lid on the pan, and turn off the heat.  Let stand 30 minutes.
  10. After 30 minutes, fluff with a fork as you add the remaining tablespoon olive oil and the lemon juice.  Stir in the chives, dill, parsley and feta, and then add salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Stir in the walnuts and dried fruit, if using, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Courtesy of Mollie Katzen

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