Peppers are one of our favourite veggies as you can add them to lots of different dishes and they pair well with a variety of flavours. They do much more than add colour and sweetness to dishes, as they are a valuable source of nutrients like vitamin C for the immune system, vitamin A for healthy vision, folate for the oxygen carrying red blood cells and fibre for a healthy digestion. They have a really long shelf life so make sure you’ve always got a few in the fridge. Here are some of our favourite ways to use peppers.
Chargrilling peppers creates the most delicious smoky flavour. You can cook them directly on the hob, under the grill or in the warmer months on the BBQ. The peppers are cooked until the skin begins to blister or blacken, they’re then placed in a bowl and covered with cling film, and then once cooled the skin can be peeled off with your fingers. They taste great with salads, in sandwiches, served with feta for an appetizer, in scrambled eggs, or used to create a pickle by cutting them into thin strips and mixing with vinegar, coriander seeds, chilli and garlic.
2. Padron peppers
These small, green peppers are a popular appetizer or tapas dish in Spain. They are often fried in a hot pan coated with olive oil and sprinkled with a generous dose of sea salt before serving. They’re have a mild taste but a small minority (10-25%) can be particularly hot.
Peppers that have been roasted or chargrilled can be pureed to help add a depth of flavour to lots of dishes. Add the puree to dips like houmous, soups such as tomato or gazpacho, folded into scrambled eggs, mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to make a salad dressing, served with a salty cheese like feta, spread onto bread like bruschetta or a pizza crust, served on top of roasted vegetables like aubergine and courgette, or as a dip for bread or vegetables.
Stuffed peppers are easy to prepare and look great on the dinner table. You can cut the tops of (use the top as a lid) or cut the peppers in half, and deseed them. Pre-cooking the peppers in the oven helps to speed up the cooking time and allows the filling to not overcook. You can stuff the peppers with a variety of fillings such as rice, quinoa, beans, lentils, tomatoes, mushrooms, sweetcorn, olives, cheese, pesto, spring onion, spices and fresh herbs.
5. Dice and toss
This may not seem be the most exciting way to use peppers but it shows how many different dishes you can enjoy peppers in. They help to add a slight sweetness to any dish, so slice them up and toss them into dishes like omelettes, curries, pasta sauces, shakshuka, ratatouille and fajitas. Peppers pair particularly well with spices like paprika, chilli, cumin and garlic.