Saturday, August 15, 2009

Credit Crunch: Salvaging Bell Pepper Tops

One ingredient I often stock in my fridge is a colorful variety of bell peppers. I use them in so many different ways - chopped and added to soups, sauces, stir fries, casseroles, sauteed and added to eggs and quiches, or fried in tempura. Raw peppers can be diced and tossed into salads, sliced into crisp rings and served on sandwiches, cut into strips and dunked into a creamy dip, or even minced up as used as a garnish. They are so versatile and I just can't imagine cooking without them.

Something I have always found slightly amusing is how often I see people on cooking programs struggling to core a pepper properly. I think coring a bell pepper is one of the easiest veggie preps out there, but then again, I core mine very differently from most other methods I have seen. I really dislike wasting food, so I do whatever I can to salvage every bit of goodness from any ingredient. For me, the easiest way to core a bell pepper is to quite simply slice off the top of the pepper, leaving you with a pepper top and a pepper cavity. I then simply yank out the entire seed core from the cavity, all in one neat and tidy piece. The remaining cored pepper is then ready to be used as a bowl to hold dip, stuffed with a meat or rice filling and baked, turned on its side and sliced into rings, or halved and cut into strips, chunks or dice.

As for the pepper top, a gentle tug on the stem and it easily pops out, leaving a ring of pepper flesh with a hole in the center. You will be amazed at just how much pepper you can get out of a simple little pepper top. If you look in the photo, I sliced the tops off of three peppers and the little rainbow of minced pepper is just the amount I salvaged from the three tops.


  1. Great tip Heather! I love peppers too, but have found that in the past few years I have a very hard time digesting them, especially green peppers, and I did so love them!