This stuffed pepper recipe is a fabulous twist on tradition. It’s a colorful, edible bowl filled with pearl barley***, red onion, diced cucumber, fresh corn and, of course, wonderful California Avocados. A garlicky-lemon dressing amps up the delightful fresh veggies for delicious flavor in every bite! This cholesterol-free recipe is an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of Vitamin A and Iron. The pearl barley in this recipe is a source of protein (3.5g or 7% DV).
Stuffed Bell Peppers with California Avocados and Barley
Total Time: 45 min
Vitamin A 490 (IU); Vitamin C 130 mg; Calcium 50 mg; Iron 2 mg; Vitamin D 0 (IU); Folate 117 mcg; Omega 3 Fatty Acid 0.12 g
% Daily Value*: Vitamin A 10%; Vitamin C 220%; Calcium 4%; Iron 10%
Ingredients1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tsp. honey or agave nectar 3 cloves garlic, finely minced 1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp. sea salt 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 6 bell peppers**, any color 8 oz. pearl barley, cooked*** 1/4 medium-size red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced 1 medium-size cucumber, seeded and diced in ¼-inch cubes 4 ears fresh corn, kernels cut from cobs 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 2 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, peeled, seeded and diced into ¼-inch cubes 1 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced, for garnish
- Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium size glass jar. Cover and shake vigorously. Set aside.
- Fold a clean kitchen towel in half and place on a work surface. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- While water is heating, cut tops off of peppers. Remove seeds and membranes. Discard stems then finely chop the pepper tops and set aside.
- Place peppers in boiling water and submerge with a long-handled spoon. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 5-6 minutes, uncovered or until peppers are beginning to soften. Stir occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon and place upside down on prepared towels to drain and cool.
- To cook pearly barley, combine 1 part barley with 2 parts of water in a medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a low simmer. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed, then uncover and fluff with a fork. To reduce cooking time, barley can be soaked for 1-2 hours in cold water. Drain before cooking and proceed as directed above, reducing cooking time to 15-20 minutes.
- Combine reserved chopped pepper tops, barley, red onion, cucumber and fresh herbs in a large bowl. Add about one-third of the dressing and stir to coat. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. Add avocados and stir again, gently.
- Fill cooled pepper cups with barley mixture. Drizzle with a bit more of the lemon-garlic dressing. Place on serving plates and garnish with sliced avocados. Serve immediately. Pass extra dressing at the table, if desired.
Serving Suggestion: Delicious served on their own for a wonderful vegan meal or with grilled fish, seafood, pork or beef. Add a loaf of crusty warm bread for a fabulous dinner.
** Choose peppers that are all about the same size and that have a fairly flat, stable base. If you have trouble finding peppers with stable bases just trim them a bit on the bottom.
*** Barley is a delicious, hearty pasta-like grain that’s been around for thousands of years. Recently, it’s had a huge resurgence of popularity as a way to include whole grain in the diet. It does contain gluten. If you need to follow a gluten-free diet, 8 ounces of cooked quinoa can be substituted for the barley with equally delicious results.
*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.
Did You Know?
You can’t always tell if an avocado is ripe just by its color.
As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados