Red peppers are up there as one of my favourite vegetables. Broccoli still comes up trumps but red peppers are just so versatile – sweet enough to have raw with dip or in a salad, not too sweet for curries or stir fries. Bake them, fry them, boil them, grill them, BBQ them… the choices are endless. One of my favourite ways to enjoy a pepper is stuffed. The other night, I decided to make some.
I have stuffed my own peppers before so I had an idea in my head of how I wanted them to be made but had never done it without following a recipe. I consulted my (small but loved) library of vegetarian cookbooks and not surprisingly, most of them had a stuffed pepper recipe in there somewhere. After skimming a few different ones, I noted that I didn’t have all the ingredients for any one recipe and decided to just make up my own, roughly following the steps in the books. So although I am sure there are similar recipes out there, this particular variation is my own.
Stuffed Peppers with Feta
2 red peppers
1 cup Basmati Rice
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
1/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1/2 cup baby spinach, chopped roughly
100g feta cheese, diced
Black Pepper for seasoning
Pre-heat oven to 180˚C (350˚F).
Boil rice until almost ready (roughly 2 minutes from completion)
Meanwhile, cut the tops off the peppers and keep aside.
Remove seeds and white cores then blanch peppers in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and place upright on foil-lined backing tray. If they peppers are not flat-bottomed and won’t stand, lean them against their ‘lids’.
Heat oil in medium fry pan and fry onion for two minutes or until starting to brown. Add garlic, pine nuts and raisins and cook for further two minutes.
If rice is not yet ready, remove raisin mix from heat and set aside. Return to heat once rice is almost cooked.
Add nearly done rice (drained if you’re a rice drainer) to raisin mix in pan and stir until well-combined. Rice should finish cooking in this step.
Remove from heat and stir in spinach and 3/4 of the feta. Season with pepper as desired.
Scoop mixture into pepper shells and top with remaining feta.
If the peppers stand on their own, place ‘lids’ back on top. If not, they are fine uncovered.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until feta is browned and peppers are starting to blister.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with pepper.
The peppers were delicious! The raisins added a nice sweetness and I could eat pine nuts with anything. These will definitely be filed under ‘make again’.