Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vegetarian Food Blog: 'Greek' Stuffed Peppers

Sweet, soft red peppers filled with a basic tomato-based risotto and currents to keep you interested. This is not nearly as fiddly as it sounds. Tomatoes work well too, just too expensive in Sydney at the moment.


6 large red peppers/capsicums
1 large onion, chopped 
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup arborio rice (or other short grain risotto rice)
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
1/2 cup currents
2-3 Tablespoons pine nuts (optional)
1 cup tomato puree (or can chopped tomatoes, blended)
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
2 cups water
salt and pepper                                                                         

Preheat oven to 180-200 C or 350-400 F (depending on how hot your oven is).

Heat oil in large or medium pot. Add onion and saute on low heat for about five-ten minutes - until clear. Stir in rice and cook for a minute or two, taking care not to let it catch. Pour wine in and cook until absorbed, stirring a couple of times. Next add currents, pine nuts, half of the tomato puree, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a decent grind of fresh black pepper. 

Once the tomatoes are absorbed add 1 cup water, and cover with lid. Perhaps move to a smaller element so it can cook very slowly. Stir regularly. Once the water is absorbed taste it - the rice should be undercooked, but not too crunchy. Add another 1/2 cup water if necessary and cook gently until absorbed.

Meanwhile, prepare peppers/capsicums. You have several options: Slice the tops off for 6 larger servings, or cut the whole pepper in half lengthways for 12 smaller serves. I've tried a bit of both tonight. Two whole ones for Miles and I to eat for dinner, and a selection of half peppers to take to work for Food Club.

Stand peppers in large, lightly oiled baking dish, preferably one that fits them nice and snug -  a lasagne dish works well. Stuff with rice mixture. Pour rest of the tomato puree and half a cup of water around the peppers, so they are sitting in a bit of liquid. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top if you like, and pop in oven on middle shelf for about 35 mins, or until peppers are very soft.

These are best served warm or at room temperature. Leave them to settle for a bit when you take them out of the oven, or if eating cold the next day be sure to remove from fridge in plenty of time.


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