Lentil-Stuffed Bell Peppers (Serves 6)
Choose rounded, rather than elongated, bell peppers. Serve with long-grain rice.
Adapted from "Vegan: The Cookbook" by Jean-Christian Jury (Phaidon, 2017).
6 red, yellow or orange bell peppers
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seed
2 medium onions, chopped (2 cups)
1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger root
1 cup dried red lentils
1 1/2 cups home-made or no-salt-added vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for optional garnish
Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and reserve them; discard the seeds and membranes from inside the peppers.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat in a large skillet for which there is a tight-fitting lid. Add the bell peppers and cook, turning frequently, until they are lightly browned on all sides, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer them to a plate.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet over medium heat.
Add the cumin seed and cook for 2 minutes, until they begin to pop and brown.
Add the onions and jalapeño (to taste); cook, stirring frequently, until softened and lightly browned, 8 minutes. Stir in the ginger, lentils and broth.
Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, so the liquid is barely bubbling. Cover with the lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the lentils are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the salt, pepper, coriander and cilantro; taste, and add more salt and pepper, as needed. This is your filling.
While the lentils are cooking, preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Transfer the bell peppers to an ovenproof casserole dish, trimming their bottoms, as needed, to help them stand upright.
Divide the filling mixture among them, filling the peppers up to the rim.
Top with the reserved bell pepper caps.
Bake (middle rack) until the peppers are just tender when pierced with a fork.
Garnish with more chopped cilantro or whole leaves, if desired; serve warm.
The Washington Post