Bell peppers provide a crunchy, nutritious snack full of vitamin C when served raw, but this vegetable also works well when when grilled, stir-fried, roasted or steamed. You can eat the cooked bell peppers plain, mix them with other ingredients, stuff them or add them to a salsa. Try different cooking preparations to experience the bell pepper's different flavors and textures.
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Grilling gives the bell peppers a light char and smoky flavor. You can grill whole peppers or pepper pieces. To keep smaller pieces from falling through the grates, place them on a skewer before grilling. The pepper chunks also work well on kabobs with various meats and other vegetables. Brush on a light coating of oil and season with salt and pepper before you place the peppers on the grill. Use green, red and yellow bell peppers for a colorful, grilled vegetable side dish.
Small pieces of bell pepper are easily cooked with the stir-frying or sautéing method on the stove top. Heat a small amount of oil in a heavy skillet and add the bell pepper pieces. Stir the peppers occasionally so they cook evenly in the pan. The peppers become tender after about eight to 10 minutes of cooking over medium heat. Other vegetables, like onions and mushrooms, also cook well with the peppers in a skillet. Add a stir fry sauce or soy sauce for more flavor in the dish.
Roasting bell peppers gives them a smoky flavor. The roasted peppers work well in salsas or other dishes, as well as on their own. A gas stove allows you to easily roast the peppers indoors. Place the peppers on the burner grates over the gas flame for about five to eight minutes to create a black, charred outer layer. Turn the peppers as they cook so all sides become charred. The roasting process also works using the broiler in the oven. Brush the peppers with a light coat of vegetable oil. Turn the peppers as they broil to brown them evenly. When they are charred, place the peppers inside either a plastic resealable or brown paper bag for 15 minutes before peeling off the outer charred layer. Cut up the peppers as desired based on how you plan to use them.
Steaming peppers is another method of softening the vegetables. Steaming is often used to prepare bell peppers for stuffing, but you can also steam pieces of peppers for a side dish. To steam a whole pepper, cut out the stem and seeds. Steam the peppers for about four minutes in a steaming basket with the pepper upright in the pan. You can then stuff the peppers with a filling and bake them according to your stuffed pepper recipe. The filling typically includes rice, chopped vegetables, seasonings and cheese.