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The best bell pepper for stuffing, in my book, is anything but green

By: Joe Yonan The Washington Post
October 10, 2017 Updated: October 10, 2017 at 4:15 am
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Lentil-Stuffed Bell Peppers. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post.

We're nearing sweater weather or, more important, stuffed-pepper weather.

Stuffed peppers were in my mother's weekly dinner rotation. Hers were green bells, as was the fashion in the 1970s, and stuffed with beef and rice, covered in tomato sauce and baked. I liked them, but I always wondered why those green peppers had a bitter taste - and, I confess, I often scooped out the filling and ate it with the sauce, leaving the peppers untouched.

That was a few decades before I learned why I like red, orange or yellow peppers so much more than green. They're ripe.

I haven't made the submerged-in-sauce version of stuffed peppers in years. I tend to roast the peppers relatively unadorned, at least on the outside. I'm always looking for a new stuffing, preferably with a good dose of protein. In Jean-Christian Jury's recent tome, "Vegan: The Cookbook," I spotted a treatment that stuffs the peppers with a quick batch of red lentils cooked with chilies and some of my other favorite ingredients: fresh ginger, cumin, coriander and cilantro leaves. Served over rice, they're a healthful, hearty, fall-into-winter dish that I also can imagine serving at room temperature in warmer weather.

I changed only one thing from his recipe, and I bet you can guess. I turned those peppers red.

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