I always think of stuffed veggies as an elegant treat. When I was younger, they mystified me. How in the world did anyone figure out how to fill these delectable creations just right? Now that I’m officially “middle aged” and thus more experienced in the kitchen, the question no longer interests me. Instead, I’m quite comfortable improvising.
And that is what these mung bean filled peppers are all about. I had the ingredients at home already and sort of made the recipe up as I went along. I liked it so well, that I kept snacking on the filling while I was preparing the dish. Mmmm.
Typically, poblanos are my favorite pepper to stuff, as I prefer their earthy, smoky flavors over the plain sweet bell peppers. Mine were too tiny for that. So instead I chopped one up and sautéed it to bring those tastes to the dish.
yellow bell peppers stuffed with mung bean, feta and fresh herbs
4 to 6 medium to large yellow bell peppers
3 tbsp olive oil plus more
1 poblano pepper; stems, ribs and seeds removed; chopped fine
2 pieces green garlic, green and white parts, chopped fine
4 scallions, green and white parts, chopped fine
1 small bunch Italian parsley, chopped fine
1 small bunch mint, chopped fine
3 cups prepared mung beans
½ lb. French feta or similar that will melt easily
2 tbsp pignioli nuts
12 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne
I usually start with dry mung beans. This time, I had some that I’d already prepared, frozen and awaiting this delicious recipe. These lovely beans don’t require soaking. Just boil in water for about 30 to 45 minutes. That’s it. They should be completely drained before using here.
To prepare yellow bell peppers for stuffing, remove tops and interior seeds and ribs with a paring knife.
Steam for ten minutes then rinse to cool.
Pre heat oven to 350F.
In a large skillet, add olive oil then sauté green garlic, scallion, chopped poblano pepper and a pinch of salt for a few minutes until they soften. Add mung bean, cover and warm through. Add feta, mint, parsley, pignoli, olives and mix everything together. Adjust salt and add black pepper. Remember for the filling to taste right with the unsalted peppers, it should be slightly salty on its own.
Gently fill yellow bell peppers with mung bean mix and place on a baking dish. If you have extra filling (like I did) you can bake that in ramekins for an elegant presentation, or in any baking dish. Finish with some more olive oil and dust the filled peppers with cayenne.
Bake about 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. We had ours with plain basmati rice.