Lentil-stuffed Chilis

Ah, stuffed peppers. This is your time of year; who doesn’t want to end a summer day with a hearty and sweet stuffed pepper? Who doesn’t want to bite into the crunch of your outer shell? Who doesn’t want to enjoy the mixture of flavors and textures that comes in your perfect little package?

I know that most people like to stuff bell peppers, and they are definitely a good choice: sweet, hearty, and the perfect shape for stuffing. But I’ve never been a huge fan of bell peppers; there are so many other varieties of pepper that offer both heat and sweet. And, as we know, I like my heat! 🙂

So I skipped the bell pepper bin at my grocery store and picked up a couple of Anaheim chili peppers. For those who have never worked with Anaheim chilis, they’re sweet like bell peppers, but have a tiny bit of heat. They’re mild enough to eat raw, but you still get a little kick with them.

For the filling, I decided to mix French lentils and crimini mushrooms. This is a hearty combination, and they contrast beautifully with the bright taste of the chili peppers. And you’ll notice that I didn’t add salt or pepper to them; between the veggies and the broth, it came out well-seasoned, but if you need to add a little salt and pepper to taste, go for it!

These work really well both as an appetizer and as a side dish. The recipe I have here is small, but you can easily multiply it if you’re making it for a large group. (And a quick note: I left the stems on the peppers both for visual appeal and to keep the filling in the chilis; please don’t eat the stems, though!)