Stuffed Peppers

Colours of spring and flavours of the Middle East and Mediterranean…

Currently I am obsessed with anything to do with Spring. Everything in my house from my homewares to food, from my dresses to shoes is basking in colours of spring. It is just such a beautiful season!

Once the promise of a warm summer is ushered in by a beautiful spring, it is hard not to indulge in food and wine with family and friends. If you are anything like my husband and I, bet your house turns into afull time party house. We love hosting people, it is so much fun to be able to share a beautiful spring day with family and friends, a glass of wine and a delicious meal.

Today’s recipe is chosen by you. Remember LSD recently ran a poll and you all unanimously voted for the stuffed peppers. I can tell you one thing for sure this LSD recipe will definitely be a hit at your next lunch or dinner party.

Good recipes are those that unravel a surprise with each bite. You can create surprises by using different textures or by using different yet complimentary flavours. The stuffing in this recipe is made from coconut  flavoured rice and beautiful Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavours such as sumac, mint, dill and feta. The flavours are so robust yet delicate and the colours are just so inviting. Don’t fret if you cant find sumac, you can use dried mango powder (known as ‘amchur’ in India) as a substitute or the king of every pantry garam masala.

Ingredients: 8       Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6
  • 1.5 kgs of assorted petite peppers or baby capsicums
  • 250 gms of cooked basmati rice
  • Two tablespoons of coconut cream
  • One cup of chopped and blanched spinach
  •  Extra virgin olive oil
  • One teaspoon of dill paste or two teaspoons of fresh chopped dill
  • One teaspoon of mint paste or two teaspoons of frest chopped mint
  • 1.5 teaspoons of sumac (sumac can be replaced with garam masala or dried mango powder ‘amchur’)
  • Four tablespoons of fat reduced feta
Turn on your oven to 180 degrees celsius and if you don’t have an oven don’t fret. You can use a frying pan (big enough to fit all the peppers). Now lets prepare the peppers. You can do it two ways, you can cut the pepper down the middle or slice the tops off the peppers and deseed them.

There are three steps in cooking the peppers. First we sear them, then we stuff them and then we cook them.

For my oven users, get a baking tray and grease it with  about 1.5 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil and assemble all the peppers sideways, drizzle some olive oil on top again and let them bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.  People using their gas stove heat the pan and assemble the peppers the same way and cook for same amount of time with the lid on. You can also sear the peppers on the barbeque (BBQ) to give them that great chargrilled, smoky flavour.

While the peppers are searing, in a bowl mix all the ingredients for the stuffing. Add two tablespoons of olive oil and be sure to taste the stuffing to ensure its perfectly seasoned. I did not add any salt as the feta is quite salty.

Time to stuff the peppers. As the peppers are slightly cooked they will be very delicate so be careful when stuffing the mix. Stuff the mix right to the brim of the pepper and assemble it back on the baking tray or pan as you had initially. Now bake the peppers for another 20 minutes on 180 degrees celsius. The cooking time of this recipe (30 minutes) leaves you with well cooked and yet crunch peppers. However, if you like your peppers well cooked you will need to cook them for another 10minutes on 180 degrees celsius or medium heat when cooking on the stove top.

You should now be smelling all those beautiful flavours of the mint, dill, sumac. While the peppers are searing in those final moments, roughly chop some mint for the garnish.

Serve the peppers garnished with fresh mint.

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