Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Baby stuffed peppers with fragrant rice

I think of stuffed peppers as a quintessential vegetarian dish, although I am sure many omnivores have a favourite version of them too. They are such an easy and effective meal, with so many possible variations.

I have posted a stuffed pepper recipe previously, so today's post is less about the stuffing and more about the peppers themselves. I saw these baby peppers at my local markets last weekend, and promptly fell in love. In fact, I loved them so much that the image below has become my Facebook cover photo!


What the Facebook version doesn't show is just how small these really are. The following picture includes my thumb for scale and highlights that these really are baby-sized vegetables.


Obviously peppers of this size are not going to provide a stand-alone meal (unless you eat a lot of them!) but they make a great accompaniment to other dishes. I imagine they would be great as an appetizer too, or as finger food at a party. I tend to eat just about everything with a knife and fork (pizza, wraps...) but these really are best consumed with your hands. Pick them up, bite in, and enjoy the contrast of sweet roasted pepper against the fragrant rice filling within.

If you don't have baby peppers near you, obviously this recipe could be made with standard-sized peppers. It's slightly different to the stuffed peppers recipe I've posted previously, featuring hemp seeds instead of pine nuts and garam masala instead of basil. If you like, you could even skip the peppers altogether and just serve the rice straight up. It's pretty delicious.


Baby stuffed peppers with fragrant rice
Vegan
Makes a savoury snack, appetizer or side dish for 4

Author: Bite-sized thoughts


Ingredients:
8 baby peppers (capsicums), or alternatively, 2 regular peppers
1/2 cup rice of choice (or quinoa), uncooked
1 cup vegetable broth
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 small carrot, finely diced
1/2 onion (red or white), finely diced
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 to 1-1/2 tbsp hemp seeds (to taste)
1 to 1-1/2 tbsp currants (to taste)

Method:
Preheat oven to 180'C.

Depending on size and shape, cut the tops off your peppers or slice them in half length ways. Scoop out any seeds.

Place the cut peppers in the oven to roast for approximately 10 minutes. They should have softened after this time but won't have blackened. Allow to cool slightly at room temperature while the rice finishes cooking.

While the peppers are in the oven, place the rice and stock in a covered saucepan, bring to the boil, and then simmer covered for approximately 5 minutes. Add the diced vegetables (celery, carrot and onion) and garam masala and continue to simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.

Stir the hemp seeds and currants through the cooked rice mixture.

Spoon the rice mixture into your prepared peppers (using a teaspoon will help if you're using baby peppers). Place the stuffed peppers into a baking dish and add any leftover rice around the peppers if necessary.

Roast the stuffed peppers in the oven for 20 minutes and then serve.


These hold up well cold, too, and are just as enjoyable the day after being cooked.

Do you buy or use baby peppers regularly? Or do you have a favourite stuffed pepper recipe of any variety?

20 comments:

  1. I know what you mean about these being such a typical vego dish - a friend once complained that this was all his in-laws made for him because he was vego - and I rarely make them but I do enjoy them when I do - though I would tire of them if having them all the time - your baby peppers look very cute - I can see why you couldn't resist. I once added leftover nut roast to stuffed peppers which I loved (and btw E eats almost everything with knife and fork - is it a british thing - not enough picnic and bbq weather there!)

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    1. I used to have them quite often and did tire of them quickly, but a bonus of having them less often now is they have regained some of their novelty. Baby ones up that further! I like the idea of a nut roast filling and will have to monitor cutlery habits in the UK to see if that's where I got my tendencies from ;)

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  2. I don't think I would make this as the only vego option if I had guests but I love these stuffed peppers. Always eaten with the fingers. :)

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  3. I love baby capsicums :-) They are so cute and make the best finger food! :-) I actually have a post schedules for them that will be up soon :-)

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    1. Oh, great! I'll look forward to it :)

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  4. They look really colourful and delicious and they are tiny aren't they. Zi dont think Ive seen hem this small. I only used to get hemp seeds from kids in a back alley , where on earth do you get them to cook with?

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    1. Hemp seeds are definitely a challenge in Australia! A lot of health food stores do carry them, but legally they can't be sold for edible use. So, they are usually marketed as a skin cleansing option or some such but I think everyone knows people buy them to eat :P

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  5. Im in love with peppers right now, it must be something to do with the fact that summer is on its way but their flavour is so vibrant!

    journeysthroughmeadows.com

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    1. They are definitely a lovely vegetable to welcome in summer!

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  6. I don't think I've made stuffed peppers since the first year I went veg. What a bad vegetarian I am! Love this version though, those peppers are so cute! Their size would make them a great side dish or app as you say!

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    1. I think maybe they were a stereotype of the 80s/90s?! I see them around less often now too, although still have them in my mind as a classic veggie dish :)

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  7. LOL - brings back memories of FFWD, when I stuffed baby peppers instead of those Spanish pepper things that I couldn't find. They look vibrant and fresh - yum!

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    1. Oh yes, I had forgotten about that! I think you were on to a good thing :)

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  8. How cute are baby peppers :) The last time I stuffed them was for a thanksgiving lunch. I think I stuffed them with rice and feta cheese. so yum!

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    1. I imagine the colours would have been perfect for a Thanksgiving meal!

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  9. Oh my goodness, these are the pretties baby peppers I've seen! And they're even cuter when stuffed. :)

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    1. Aren't they just?! I hope I can find some more to play with as I really loved this batch.

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