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Tamasin Day-Lewis's Middle Eastern Stuffed Peppers

Tamasin Day-Lewis's tasty recipe involves rice laced with aromatic spices and piled into sweet peppers


Posted: 16 September 2011
by Junior

Supper For A Song by Tamasin Day-Lewis (Quadrille, £20) has lots of recipes that can be rustled up with little effort and these stuffed peppers with a Middle Eastern twist are our favourite. I cooked these in Ireland in the summer and I’m still not sure whether they taste best hot or cold – both are lovely.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 red and 2 yellow peppers
225g (8oz) brown or white basmati rice
1/2 cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
5 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 courgette, cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 tsp ground ginger
2–3 tbsp tinned organic cherry tomatoes in juice
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted in the oven or a dry pan
Handful of raisins (soak in warm water for 30 mins)
Small bunch of coriander, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
3–4 ladlefuls chicken stock
Chopped parsley or mint, to garnish

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Cut the peppers in half vertically through their stalks and remove the seeds. Place cut side up in a baking dish. Cook the rice according to packet instructions with the cinnamon and cardamom in the water. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan, then add the chopped onion and carrot. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and courgette, cayenne pepper and ginger. Stir for a few minutes until everything is softening, then add the tinned tomatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes, then take off the heat and add the pine nuts, drained raisins, coriander and seasoning. 

When the rice is ready, drain and discard the spices. Add the rice to the vegetable mixture and create a well-balanced stuffing. Add a little chicken stock to lubricate the rice. Pile the mixture into the pepper halves. Add a few ladlefuls of stock to the dish and dribble olive oil over each pepper. Cover the roasting tin with a sheet of oiled greaseproof paper to prevent the rice drying out. Bake for 40 minutes, checking the peppers after 20 minutes, as you may need to add a little more stock to the roasting tin. Serve the peppers hot or cold, adding a garnish of parsley or mint.


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