Bullhorn chillies stuffed with preserved lemon freekah

Make a meal of a stuffed vegetable! Use bullhorn chillies or red capsicums.
Make a meal of a stuffed vegetable! Use bullhorn chillies or red capsicums. Photo: Marcel Aucar

A stuffed vegetable is a super way to get more nutrients and wow factor in a dish and there are so many things to stuff with different grains that taste great. You can use meat as a stuffing, or freekah as I have with these peppers. Burghal wheat (aka bulghur) and quinoa work too, and paella makes an excellent stuffing. if you can't find bullhorn chillies, use red capsicum instead.


1 brown onion, roughly diced

3 sticks celery, diced

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp butter

200g freekah (or quinoa for gluten-free option)

400ml water

2 tomatoes, diced

1/2 bunch coriander including stalks, chopped

1/2 tbsp preserved lemon, finely diced

*1/2 a ball of shanklish

6 green bullhorn chillies (or red capsicums)

extra virgin olive oil

* A soft aged cheese ball often rolled in herbs; you can find it in Middle Eastern grocery stores.


Sweat the onions, celery, garlic and bay leaves in the butter in a medium-size saucepan.

Add the freekah and water and bring to a simmer then cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes, then remove from the heat and cool slightly.

While the freekah is cooking, preheat oven to 180C.

Put the cooked freekah into a bowl, mix with the tomatoes, coriander, preserved lemon and crumbled shanklish, reserving some of the cheese for the topping.

Lay the chillies on a cutting board and slice them lengthways on one side. Open the cut gently so you don't crack the pepper, remove the seeds then spoon in the stuffing. 

Crumble the remaining shanklish over the top, drizzle with olive oil then bake for 20 minutes. 

See also: Frank Camorra's stuffed sweet potatoes (lamb or vegetarian)