Pepper Blog Post by Tom Milford
Capsicum, the group of plants that peppers belong to, originated in South America, where it was first harvested in 7500 BC, and spread to Central America and Mexico. The pepper spread to Europe during the Columbian Exchange, and from there to Europe and Africa. The pepper’s popularity in the Old World was mainly due to its ability to be used as a replacement for black pepper, which was a valuable spice used to make meals more palatable. Today, peppers are used throughout the world, in various cultures’ cuisine.
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers Recipe
6 multi-colored bell peppers
1 cup SimplyNature Organic Quinoa
4 garlic cloves
3 medium shallots (1 cup chopped)
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
¾ cup chopped Southern Grove Shelled Pistachios
2 tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons lemon juice plus zest from ½ lemon
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup feta cheese crumbles (optional)
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Wash the peppers and cut them in half lengthwise; remove the stems and seeds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then place the peppers on top. Bake with the cut side down for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, flip to cut side up, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake another 15 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile, cook the quinoa (or use our Instant Pot quinoa method): Rinse the quinoa and drain it completely, then place it in a saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer where the water is just bubbling for 17 to 20 minutes until the water has been completely absorbed. (Check by pulling back the quinoa with a fork to see if water remains.) Turn off the heat and let sit with the lid on to steam for at least 5 minutes.
Mince the garlic, shallot and parsley. Chop the pistachios. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the garlic, shallot and red pepper flakes and sauté 1 to 2 minutes until the shallot is translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Remove from the heat, then stir in the cooked quinoa, pistachios, ¼ cup parsley, paprika, oregano, lemon juice and zest, sea salt and black pepper. Taste and add another few pinches of salt to taste. Spoon the filling into the roasted pepper halves. Garnish with a small sprinkling of remaining parsley and feta cheese crumbles. Serve any additional filling on the side.
1.Overhiser, S. (2021, February 23). Quinoa Stuffed Peppers Recipe. A Couple Cooks. https://www.acouplecooks.com/mediterranean-quinoa-stuffed-peppers/
2. “Capsicum History - Origins and History of Pepper Fruits”. Accessed June 18, 2022. http://www.vegetablefacts.net/vegetable-history/history-of-capsicum/