Pepper season is almost upon us and soon gardeners and markets will be awash with these veggies which are certainly a staple in my home. There’s a special place in my heart for the long pointed variety which have a thinner skin and flesh, making them perfect for filling and roasting. These Lentil Stuffed Peppers with a Lemon Crumb are a great way of using up some of these gorgeous vegetables and also an easy make-ahead vegan lunch or barbecue side.
Many people think lentils take ages to make but actually puy lentils are tiny and quick to boil up. You can also buy them ready cooked in pouches too. I actually make double of the filling so there’s some ready in the freezer and I just need to defrost and place in the peppers making this a healthy ‘ready’ meal. Obviously the sizes of the peppers will vary so you may find this is slightly too much filling sometimes. Again you can freeze it or add to some leftover cold rice another time for an easy salad.
The crumb can be made with gluten-free bread if needs be and if you do eat cheese crumble some feta into it – delicious! I use some dry bread blitzed to make my own breadcrumbs quickly and easily. It’s so cheap and means no bread waste.
Lentil Stuffed Peppers with a Lemon Crumb
- For the peppers:
- 200g cooked puy lentils
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
- I courgette, finely diced
- 8 chestnut mushrooms, finely diced
- 4 long pointed peppers
- 60g sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and blitzed to a paste (you can sub in tomato puree)
- 1 teaspoon of paprika, I like the spicy one with this
- Salt and pepper
- For the crumb:
- 80g breadcrumbs
- 1 large handful of parsley, roughly chopped
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 180 °C / 150 °C Fan / 350 °F / Gas 4
- Step 2 In a medium saucepan sweat off the onion in splash of olive oil (or water) with the lid on until soft, then add the carrot, courgette and mushrooms. Cover again and add a splash of water if they are catching. After about 5mins they should feel just cooked.
- Step 3 Add the paprika, tomato paste and seasoning and stir well.
- Step 4 Remove from the heat and stir through the lentils gently.
- Step 5 To prepare the peppers simply wash and cut vertically so they are as deep as possible for stuffing.
- Step 6 Lay on a large baking tray and fill with the lentil mixture.
- Step 7 Bake in the oven for 20 to 25mins.
- Step 8 While the peppers are cooking prep the crumb by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl.
- Step 9 Check the peppers are just cooked and scatter the crumb over them. Return to the oven for another 5mins by which time the crumb should be crisp.
- Step 10 Serve.