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Bell peppers belong to the nightshade family of plants, along with chili pepper,cayenne pepper, eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes. Their scientific nameis Capsicum annuum. This scientific name, however, is used to refer not only to bellpeppers, but also to wax peppers, cayenne peppers, chili peppers, and jalapenopeppers.While we are most accustomed to seeing green bell peppers in the supermarket,these delicious vegetables actually come in a wide variety of colors, includingyellow, orange, red, purple, brown and black. The green bell peppers you purchasein the food market may actually be immature, non-ripe versions of these other colorvarieties. Not all bell peppers start off green, however, nor do green bell peppersalways mature into other basic colors.
Nutritional ValueCompared to green peppers, red peppers have more vitamins and nutrients and containthe antioxidant lycopene. The level of carotene, like lycopene, is nine times higher in red peppers. Redpeppers have twice the vitamin C content of green peppers. Also, one large red bell pepper contains209 mg of vitamin C, which is three times the 70 mg of an average orange.Polenta-Stuffed PeppersPreparation Time: 30 minsServings: 4Ingredients 4 tablespoons butter 1 onion, finely chopped 1 1/2 teaspoons finely choppedfresh rosemary (or 3/4 teaspoon driedrosemary, crumbled) Coarse salt and ground pepper 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese 4 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise through stem, ribs and seeds removedDirections1. 1. In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. Cook onion, stirring often,until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water, rosemary, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoonpepper; bring to a boil.2. 2. Whisking constantly, gradually add cornmeal, whisking until incorporated before adding more.Reduce to a simmer; cook, whisking frequently, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove fromheat; stir in corn, remaining 3 tablespoons butter, and half the cheese until melted.3. 3. Place peppers in a large baking dish; fill with polenta mixture. Cool to room temperature. Covertightly with foil; refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.4. 4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour 1/2 cup water in bottom of baking dish. Cover with foil; bake30 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle with remaining cheese.5. 5. Return to oven; bake, uncovered, until cheese is golden and peppers are very tender, about 30minutes more. Serve immediately.