I think some of the best recipes come from a desire to recreate a foodie memory. I had some great stuffed peppers somewhere, I’m not even quite sure where anymore, but I sort of vaguely remembered the flavours and tried to recreate them. I knew the peppers were stuffed with rice and had a bit of a kick of chilli and then I just added things which I thought would work well together. These peppers are consequently stuffed full of deliciousness: mushrooms, olives, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, parsley, cheddar cheese, basically as many of my favourite flavours as I could possibly manage in one dish!
There is something just amazing about the sweetness of the roasted pepper, alongside the softness of the rice inside and the crunch of the cheesy rice on top.
I like to serve these peppers with a little salad, dressed simply with a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and a few twists of salt and pepper. The combination of the lemony dressing and the hot, sweet and salty peppers is quite simply a match made in heaven! You might also want to add a nice chunk of crusty bread to mop up all those delicious juices!
I usually do this as a main course but it would also make a great starter. This recipe serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a starter.
Simple Stuffed Peppers
- 4 red/yellow/orange peppers or a mixture
- 200 g basmati rice
- 3 sundried tomatoes
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 6 chestnut mushrooms diced
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped or crushed
- 9 black olives stoned and roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- Salt and pepper
- 1 handful parsley finely chopped
- 50 g cheddar cheese grated
Turn the oven on to 200C
Cut the peppers in half lengthways and remove the seeds and membranes. Put a drizzle of oil in a roasting tray. Roll each pepper in the oil and then arrange the peppers in the tray cut side up. Put the peppers in the oven to roast (no need to wait for the oven to reach 200C).
Put the rice and a small pinch of salt in a large saucepan, add twice as much boiling water and throw in the sundried tomatoes on top. Cover and cook until all the water has been absorbed and the sundried tomatoes have rehydrated (roughly 8 minutes). When the water has been absorbed, turn off the heat, remove the tomatoes and then cover the rice again and leave the rice to steam for another couple of minutes, until soft and fluffy.
While the rice is cooking, fry the chopped onion until soft but not brown, then turn the heat up and add the diced mushrooms and cook until lightly brown, lower the heat and add the garlic, olives, chilli, salt and pepper.
When the sundried tomatoes are ready chop them up and add them to the onion mixture. Turn off the heat and add the chopped parsley.
Check the rice is cooked and then tip the onion mixture into the cooked rice and stir well to combine. Add a handful of the grated cheddar and stir again.
Remove the peppers from the oven and spoon the rice mixture into each pepper so the rice mixture is evenly distributed between each pepper. Sprinkle some extra cheddar on the top of each pepper and put the peppers back in the oven for 15-20 minutes until brown and bubbling on top.
Serve with a simple salad and some crusty bread.
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