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Bell peppers with rice, beef, and herb stuffing

These stuffed peppers are great in the summer, when the peppers are at the height of their season, but they also make a hearty main course any time of the year.

6 bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
¾ lb ground beef (you could also substitute ground lamb)
1 ¼ teaspoons salt, divided, plus more to taste
¾ teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked rice
2 tablespoons chopped basil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (feel free to substitute other fresh herbs, but do not use dried)
1 bunch scallions or spring onions, ends trimmed
1 lemon, cut into wedges

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and remove the seeds and ribs to form a cup. set the cups aside and dice the flesh remaining on the pepper tops.

3. In a bowl, combine ground beef, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¾ teaspoon black pepper.

4. Heat a large skillet, then add oil and heat until very hot but not smoking. Test the seasoning on the beef by adding a tiny bit to the hot pan, cooking it through, and tasting for salt, and add more salt to the ground beef if needed. Add seasoned ground beef to the pan, stirring and breaking up chunks, and cook until browned, approximately 5‐8 minutes. When beef is cooked through, add onion and diced pepper tops and sauté, stirring, until the onion is golden, about 6‐8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more, or until garlic is fragrant. Remove skillet from heat.

5. In a clean large bowl, combine beef mixture, cooked rice, basil, and parsley. Taste for salt. Stuff the mixture into hollowed peppers.

6. Pack peppers tightly into a baking dish. Nestle scallions around the peppers. Drizzle remaining tablespoon olive oil over peppers and scallions, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

7. Bake for 40‐50 minutes, or until peppers are completely soft and beginning to brown and blister. Squeeze lemon over peppers and serve with the scallions.

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