Published on September 11th, 2011 | by Gareth9
Stuffed peppers – Greek style
We recently had family staying with us which is always nice, one of the guests however presented me with a food challenge in that they are vegetarian. Now being an out and out appreciator of carnivorous delights I sometimes struggle to understand the point of vegetarianism, perhaps I subconsciously associate it with liberal lefties who are out of touch with reality and enjoy living in trees and wearing scratchy hemp underpants. So long as the animal has had a good life, organically raised in a free range environment and nothing is waisted (another reason why haggis is so good), what’s the problem?
Don’t get me wrong I will happily tuck into a vegetarian recipe but so often it’s over cooked and bland. At first reaction I sighed at the prospect of trying to provide vege friendly meals for a week, what’s wrong with a carrot? But to be honest I think this was fuelled by my own laziness over having to engage my brain and find seven new dishes. After trawling through a small tower of cook books I emerged with inspiration, eagerness and dare I say even a little excitement at the vege friendly recipe ideas I had planned for
Three of the dishes have definitely earned themselves a place in my regular repertoire on account of how tasty they were. One of these was stuffed peppers, a recipe I adapted from Jamie Oliver. It proved the star of the show when we had a Greek themed bbq (the food not toga clad demonstrations about the economy) and have made it since for dinner for the two of us.
- 6 Medium sized peppers (capsicums)
- 200gm long grain rice (works with any type of rice)
- 600ml vegetable stock (preferably real stock not powdered)
- 200gm pistachio nuts (plain unsalted, shelled)
- 1 tsp dry chilli flakes
- 1 large onion
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 150gm pecorino cheese (original recipe calls for feta but parmesan or pecorino has a richer flavour)
- 1 tblsp tomato puree
- 1 handful of fresh mint
- 1 handful of fresh dill
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tblsp olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 200 degree C
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
- Peel and finely chop the onion and add to the pan, reduce to a low heat and fry for 10 minutes until soft and translucent (not brown), I stole that word from a shampoo commercial.
- Chop and crush the garlic with a pinch of salt and add to the pan together with the chilli flakes.
- Fry for a further 2 minutes still on a low heat.
- Add the rice and stir until the rice is coated with the oil.
- Add the stock, bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer until the rice has begun to soften and most of the stock has reduced.
- Cut the tops off the peppers ¾ up and remove the seeds and the spongy white parts with a metal spoon or small knife.
- Toast the pistachios in a separate pan. Keep a close eye on them as it’s easy to burn them and no one enjoys burnt nuts!
- Set them aside to cool then finely chop them.
- Grate the cheese and add it to the rice along with the tomato puree. Stir in and remove from heat.
- Finely chop the herbs and add to the rice. Season and stir.
- Spoon the rice mixture into the peppers, fill to the top then pop the tops of the peppers back on.
- Put into an oven proof dish, cover with foil and put into the oven for one and a half hours.
- Serve hot.