By David Cohlmeyer
Makes 12 servings
Whenever you have too many peppers after a bountiful harvest or purchasing a bushel, these stuffed and frozen peppers make a wonderful ready-to-heat main course.
Amaranth is a high-protein South American pseudo-grain (similar to quinoa) that blends perfectly with peppers. You can use any sweet or mildly hot peppers for this dish.
1 cup amaranth or quinoa, rinsed and drained through a fine-mesh sieve
2 tbsp grapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp cumin seeds
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh marjoram or 1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp dried sage leaves
2 tsp (or to taste) hot sauce
2 cups cooked lentils or 1 can (19 oz) lentils, drained
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
12 large peppers such as bell, shepherd, pimento, poblano, Anaheim or Cubana, slit open along the top, stem, seeds and seed membranes removed
Bring a medium saucepan with 3 cups of water to a boil. Stir in the amaranth. After the water returns to a boil, cover the pot and reduce the heat. Simmer without stirring until all of the water has been absorbed. Turn off the heat, uncover the pot, and let the amaranth cool.
Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil. Stir in the onion and the cumin seeds. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is lightly browned, 10 to15 minutes. Stir in the garlic, marjoram, sage and hot sauce. Turn off the heat. In a large bowl, add the cooked amaranth, lentils, cheese and onion mixture. Stir until combined well.
Stuff the filling evenly into the cavity of each pepper. (Enjoy any leftovers as a side dish.) Bring the cut edges of the peppers up so they overlap slightly. Freeze the stuffed peppers in a single layer on a cookie sheet. When frozen solid, place the peppers into an airtight container. Keep frozen until ready to heat.
Put one or two frozen stuffed peppers per person onto a cake pan. Bake in a 350° F oven, turning them once, until heated through, about 30 minutes. Serve with a salad or cooked fresh vegetables.