Get your fill of ancient grains with these Mediterranean Stuffed Bell Peppers, piled high with Freekeh, zucchini, tomatoes, olives, Feta cheese, and toasted pine nuts.
The wonderful people over at Bob’s Red Mill were kind enough to sponsor this recipe. I love supporting local companies!
We are *finally* getting a break from the crazy heat here in Portland, which means I can actually use my oven again! YAY!
It’s not quite cold enough to make a roast, so I decided to make these beautiful Mediterranean Stuffed Bell Peppers instead!
Ancient grains are making a huge comeback right now, so I’m excited to share this recipe with you which uses one of my favorite grains: Freekeh!
Remember when I told you all about my secret love for bulgur? I’ve been pretty obsessed with it since I used it in my Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole, and it made me curious about cooking with other ancient grains.
Our friends over at Bob’s Red Mill were kind enough to partner with me on this post and provide me with enough of their Organic Cracked Freekeh to last me a lifetime (or, you know, a month or two).
Freekeh is similar to bulgur in terms of the wonderful toothy texture and mild flavor. It’s easy to add to a recipe because it happily absorbs the flavors of whatever you mix with it. Freekeh is a super versatile ingredient; one that is definitely worthy of precious pantry space!
While I’m not a vegetarian, I love using ancient grains instead of meat to bulk up a recipe. After you eat these peppers, you’ll feel perfectly satisfied without getting that horrible over-stuffed-what-did-I-just-eat!? feeling.
You can feel good about stuffing your face with these stuffed peppers. After all, you’re eating ancient grains, right?
One last tip: whenever I make stuffed peppers, I like to cook them on a baking rack placed over a rimmed baking sheet. Cooking the peppers directly on a baking sheet can sometimes make them a little bit soggy!
Here’s Your Recipe!
- 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup cracked freekeh
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 2 cups diced zucchini
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives
- 1 cup quartered cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 4 medium bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bring 1 1/4 cups vegetable broth to a boil in medium saucepan, then add the cracked freekeh, cover the pot, and set the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the freekeh is tender (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat in a saute pan. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and zucchini to the pan. Saute for 3-5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender-crisp. Add the garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper and continue to cook for another 60 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.
- Once the freekeh is cooked, drain off any excess liquid and add the grains to the onion-zucchini mixture. Add the olives, tomatoes, pine nuts, and feta to the bowl. Toss well.
- Slice the bell peppers in half vertically, remove the seeds and membranes, then rub the outside of each pepper with a bit of olive oil. Arrange a baking rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Place the oiled peppers open-side-up on the baking rack.
- Generously stuff each pepper with the freekeh mixture. Cover the entire pan with foil, then bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, uncovered. Serve warm.