Veggie chipolata tray ba...
Not in the mood to cook, but still want to put something wholesome and delish on...
Prep 20 mins
Cooking 2 hrs
We’re celebrating veggies this month with vegetarian and vegan meals that even the most dedicated carnivores will love. Peppers stuffed with rice and roasted low and slow are a Mediterranean lunch table staple, with good reason – they’re utterly moreish. Normally mince is part of the rice stuffing, but we’re nixing it in favour of chickpeas. To this we add sultanas, pine nuts and truckloads of fresh herbs along with a generous dusting of our incredibly versatile Natural Herb and Spice Vegetable & Savoury Seasoning. A simple green salad on the side is all it asks for.
Parboil the rice for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside. Fry the onion in three tablespoons olive oil until soft, adding the garlic for the final minute of frying.
Pour boiling water over the tomatoes and allow to stand for a minute. Now the skins will slip off easily. Once you’ve peeled the tomatoes, quarter them and spoon out the core and pips, but don’t throw them away. Dice the tomato flesh finely. Squeeze the pips out of the core meat and dice the tomato cores finely as well. (Reserve the tomato juice.)
Combine the parboiled rice, onions, diced tomato flesh, nuts, herbs, sultanas and chickpeas in a large bowl. Add our Natural Herbs and Spices Vegetable & Savoury Seasoning and another three tablespoons of olive oil and stir to combine. Cut the top (the end with the stem) off the peppers and remove the pips. Spoon the rice mixture into the peppers. Place them in an ovenproof roasting dish, pour the reserved tomato juice in the bottom along with half a cup of water. Seal roasting dish tightly with tinfoil, making a slightly domed roof so the foil does not touch the surface of the stuffed peppers. Roast in a 180 °C oven until the peppers are very soft – it takes about two hours. These are best served lukewarm or at room temperature. Just before serving, give these peppers another scattering of chopped parsley and mint and a final light kiss of really good olive oil.
• Pine nuts are quintessentially Mediterranean but they are pricey. You could replace the amount of pine nuts with more almonds if preferred. You could also use sunflower seeds instead of nuts. They give you loads of nutty crunch, are incredibly healthy and very affordable!
• We kept our stuffed roast peppers vegan but if you want to add dairy, feta is simply brilliant with this. You could either break a round or two of feta into the rice stuffing and mix it in, or alternately ‘dress’ your peppers with a crumbling of feta just before serving.
• There is a fair amount of olive oil in this dish, but that’s the secret to delish roast peppers and besides, it’s heart healthy! We recommend a milder, fruity olive oil. A very strong, peppery one will overwhelm the gentle flavours of these roast peppers.
Recipe & photography by food stylist and blogger of everything yum, Lizet Hartley: http://www.melkkos-merlot.co.za