Stuffed Capsicum Recipe
I left the capsicum (pepper) plants in the garden last summer after cutting them back, through the winter months. They spent that time looking like dead sticks in my garden but it has meant that spring produces a flush of new growth that soon becomes new fruit in early summer. The plants in the second year produce much more strongly than the first year.
As a result, I have been following a two year cycle where we are experiencing a bounty of gorgeous nice sized capsicums to add to family meals from the plants that were left in over winter. I have collected kilos in the past couple of weeks from the plants that have wintered and are now producing for the second summer.
I have been trying some new recipes in a bid to enjoy and use the gorgeous bounty of fruit we have.
This dish may be served as a main or a side. I created it as a main thus the addition of the smoked salmon. I think I’d leave that out if I was serving it as a side and add some freshly chopped garden harvested summer tomatoes instead. The addition of freekeh turns this dish into a wholesome satisfying meal.
I hope that you enjoy the combination of the nutty flavoured freekeh with the creamy feta and salmon and sweet sweet home grown capsicums as much as we did.
Experience has shown me that capsicums can be dormant over winter in our garden and burst to life the following year, bigger, healthier and more productive. Based on this knowledge I have created a constant cycle of planting as follows:
- Planting a few new plants each summer from seed. These will be slow to produce and likely to have small fruit. At the end of summer cut them back hard and leave them in the ground
- Harvest the year two plants, those that were raised the previous year and made it through the winter into their second year of fruiting. The fruit are likely to be produced early, in abundance and at a greater size than the previous year.
- At the end of year two remove the plants you have been harvesting. I have found that those left in for year three return to low or no production so I remove them after their second summer.
You will find my growing notes for capsicum here.
Last years summer harvests of fresh capsicums resulting in two of my favourite recipes: roast capsicum sauce, and this glorious roast capsicum salsa – I forgot about that so am thankful for this years harvest as I am now set to make more of this salsa to keep for the coming months, it was amazing! That can be the downfall of creating a seemingly endless stream of recipes – sometimes the really great ones get lost under the pile!
With the first summer harvests of this years capsicum I wanted to make something that could be served as a main or a side dish, depending on how you feel. The ingredients are filling so it will work as a main meal if you wish. Alternatively, as mentioned above, leave out the smoke salmon and serve it with fish or a serve of poached chicken.
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- ½ cup freekeh
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 5 small capsicum - top removed and inner core and seeds removed
- ½ cucumber diced
- 120 grams fetta cheese diced
- 100 grams smoked salmon
- freshly ground pepper
- fresh parsley to serve
- Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
- Set the vegetable stock to boil in a saucepan on the stove top and then add the freekeh, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat
- Add the lemon juice and zest to the freekeh and set aside
- Set the over to heat to 170 degrees celcius
- Stand the capsicum bases in a baking pan and half fill with the cooked freekeh, spooning it in and cover with the top of each capsicum or simply just add them to the dish to cook also
- Drizzle a little olive oil across the dish and bake in the oven for 20 minutes
- Remove the filled capsicums from the oven and scoop into a serving dish
- Add the cucumber, fetta and salmon salmon into the top of each one to serve
- season with freshly ground pepper and salt if desired
- Top with fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste
If not, but you would like to be sure to take a look at the Kitchen Garden Box.
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