Purple Bell Peppers

Stuffed purple bell peppers

Summer Sunshine

Purples bell peppers

“Late in the summer Lee came in off the street, carrying his big market basket.”

East of Eden, John Steinbeck


The best summer cooking revolves around as much glorious fresh sweet corn as possible. Piled high with summer vegetables our dinner salads have been graced with the addition of corn barely cooked in butter. A scoop of fragrant corn melts into the salad greens and no dressing is needed to compete with the blast of summer sunshine that adorns our dinner plates. There have been no complaints regarding my interpretation of salad for dinner. But if you must add dressing to your salad, a vinaigrette with a very light touch of vinegar leaves the sweet corn plenty of room to shine.

Purple bell peppers and corn

I went to my favorite local farm stand, The Farm to stock up on summer produce. Just outside the city limits and only five minutes from our home The Farm is a must visit if you find yourself near Salinas. I went for freshly picked corn to make cornbread and changed my mind when I found these stunning purple bell peppers. They were freshly picked. The stems were still bright green and only shriveled near the cut site. Still flush with moisture their purple skin was glossy and bright. Instead of baking cornbread I stuffed these magnificent purple bells with as much corn as possible and can still say I made dinner. We’ll have salad another day.

Thyme, faro, and corn


I almost filled the bells with all corn and just enough cheese to meld the corn together into a stuffing. I am still considering my options. Thoughts of a balanced dinner with whole grains that included a dazzling amount of corn prevailed. I paired faro with the fresh corn but any other cooked grain with a nutty flavor and texture could be substituted. Leftover grains, brown rice, quinoa or wheat berries would pair nicely with the corn and thyme.

The addition of fresh thyme is what delivers the sparkle in this meatless recipe. The thyme adds punch and sass and yet does not overwhelm the sweet corn. It’s what moves this recipe from satisfying to scrumptious. Fresh thyme is more delicate when compared to its spirited dried companion hiding in our spice cabinets. The long days of summer are not meant for the robust and compact demeanor of dried thyme. It’s vivid character is best savored in the fall and winter. Bursts of pungent dried thyme add snippets of summer to the food we enjoy in the shorter days of fall and winter.

Making stuffed peppers

1T unsalted butter or olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic
2C fresh corn kernels (from 3 ears of corn)
4 bell peppers
1C cooked faro
1/3C ricotta cheese
1/2C grated Parmesan cheese
1/4C minced green onion
1t fresh thyme
1/4t salt
1/8t ground pepper
  1. Heat the oven to 350°. Lightly grease an oven proof dish or pan.
  2. Warm the butter in a skillet on medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté briefly. Add the corn and sauté just another minute, until almost warmed through and coated with butter. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl add the cooked corn, faro, ricotta cheese, 1/3 cup of the grated Parmesan, green onions, thyme, salt and pepper. Fold together to throughly mix. Stuff the peppers and arrange them in the prepared pan. Add 1/4 cup water to the bottom of the pan. Place the cover on the pan or cover tightly with foil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the peppers are cooked and just begin to slump. Remove the pan from the oven and adjust the oven heat to broil. Remove the lid from the pan and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top of the peppers. Broil until the cheese melts and becomes golden brown.

The Farm, Salinas, California

Freestanding murals

Corn at The Farm

Stuffed purple bell peppers

47 Replies to “Purple Bell Peppers”

  1. Found purple bell peppers in West Virginia few weeks ago, so beautiful. I only purchased one, but it has such a fresh fragrance. I purchased apples and corn (so I’m set) I am excited about finding a recipe for the purple pepper and I will also share the recipe . I will send picture of my finished product. I have not seen the purple pepper in the grocery store in Laurel, MD. I will look some more or hope to go back to WV soon. I know the season is closing in on me.

    Thanks for the recipe!!

    M Price

  2. I just saw purple bell pepper in the market this week and was so tempted to get them. Now regretting that I didn’t. Love your capture of the raw ingredients and the recipe looks delicious.

    1. If stuffing bell peppers is living on the wild side then I’ve arrived, LOL! The stuffed bells are a worthy replacement to our usual salad for dinner routine. Thank you for commenting oZ!

    1. Thank you for the delightful comment Paula. My mom also made stuffed green peppers with meat, but it was not a favorite of mine. The purple bells have a much milder taste than the green peppers.

  3. gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I love the thought of slicing the peppers and stuffing them, I will have to try the purple variety. The best of summer, this will make a great treat to warm with for cool summer evenings here in the Bay Area. Love it Deb!

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment Laura! I’m not fond of green peppers either. The purple bells are much milder in taste and quite enjoyable.

  4. Love the photos Deb! And this recipe – I’m heading to the Farmers Market on Tuesday to get everything I need to make these stuffed peppers for company I’m having for dinner. I know they’re going to love them.

    1. Thank you for the delicious comment Julia! I been seeing purple bell peppers at the Farmers Markets and farm stands but not at my regular grocery store.

  5. Oh, my – these look delicious!!!!!! I’ve never seen purple bell peppers before, but I have seen purple potatoes {which are so delicious} and purple carrots {which I’ve not tried}.

    I’ve never been to The Farm, but my son goes for field trips and always has a wonderful time!

    1. Thank you for the delicious comment Calista! The Farm has something for everyone and the best local produce! Their organic strawberries and corn are a burst of summer!

  6. Such gorgeous peppers. I have only ever seen the red, yellow or green varieties. Is there a big difference in flavour from those?

  7. Those purple peppers are completely gorgeous and the filling is perfect for a summer time meal. Love that you used farro. Your photos, as usual, are stunning.

  8. Deb, we were driving through Salinas on our way home from a quick work trip to SF this afternoon, when the mail with this post came in. I told my husband I wish we could stop! I’m going to surprise you next time:) I’m making this beautiful dish as soon as possible — looks marvelous. Beautiful photos, as always!

    1. Thank you or the lovely comment Carol! Do stop by next time, I’d love to meet you. BTW I made peach and raspberry pie today and there is plenty to share!

    1. Thank you for the tasty comment! It’s such an easy recipe filled with summer goodness I hope you give it a try!

  9. I haven’t seen any purple bell peppers this Summer and they are really putting a smile in my face :). We put corn on everything this time of year so I’m loving your recipe and thinking about the corn we had for dinner last night….Have a great week;)

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