Stuffed tomatoes and peppers takes me back to hot summer days in Greece traveling with my friend Sage. We had long suppers in the cool of the evening, sipping wine and enjoying the complex flavours of good ingredients cooked well, uncomplicated and unpretentious.
I ordered this dish a couple of times. Traditionally the rice is put into the tomatoes and peppers uncooked, but I’ve saved a bit of oven time and pre-cooked the rice. I’ve also made it slightly healthier by reducing the copious amounts of olive oil down to a still generous amount. This is best served slightly warm or at room temperature.
STUFFED TOMATOES AND PEPPERS
12 tbsp white rice (1 tbsp per tomato or pepper, to be stuffed)
6 large ripe tomatoes
6 medium small red, yellow or orange peppers
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
small handful of fresh mint, chopped, reserving the sprigs for garnish
large handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped, reserving sprigs for garnish
4 tbsp toasted pine nuts
1 pack of halloumi cheese, cut into very small cubes, about 0.5cm/0.25 inch
1 tbsp tomato puree
salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6
Cook the rice in a medium saucepan of boiling, salted water, stirring periodically, until almost cooked through; slightly under done is best, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and rinse the rice under cold running water. Set aside.
Cut the tops off the tomatoes and put to one side; carefully scoop out the flesh and put to one side as well. Chop the tops off the peppers and put to one side; discard the seeds and membrane. Place the tomatoes and peppers in a roasting pan large enough to hold them comfortably.
Take the tomato flesh and process it until pureed, using a hand blender or food processor. In a bowl, combine the tomato flesh, olive oil, rice, onion, garlic, mint, parsley, nuts, cheese and sultanas and season with salt and pepper. Stuff the peppers and tomatoes evenly with this mixture.
Combine the water, tomato puree and a little salt and pepper and pour this in and around the vegetables. Replace the tops of the tomatoes and peppers. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Bake for 30-45 minutes. Garnish with the reserved herb sprigs.
Have you made this dish? I love seeing my delicious recipes come to life, so share a picture with me on Instagram by tagging @naturalcookeryschool and I’ll re-share your post!