March 8, 2011

Roasted Bell Peppers Stuffed with Rice Pilaf

I made a meal for a few friends over the holidays and wanted to make the same entrée with both an omnivore and vegetarian option. I happened to have many bell peppers around and decided to stuff bell peppers with a rice pilaf either with or without lamb. The bell pepper originated in Central American and is the only member of the Capsicum genus lacking capsaicin, the chemical causing heat. Bell peppers work perfectly for stuffing because they can maintain their shape after cooking and go well with mashed carrots and marinated green beans.

I used wild rice but any rice will work. Lamb is optional depending upon preference. Any variety of bell pepper will work.

For Kim, who requested a stuffed bell pepper recipe.

2 medium bell peppers, halved lengthwise

1 c cooked rice

1 clove garlic, pressed or finely chopped

¼ c parsley, finely chopped

1 medium red onion, trimmed and finely diced

1 stalk celery, trimmed and finely diced

8 button mushrooms, halved and finely sliced into quarters

¼ lb ground lamb*

1 tbsp kalamata olives, finely chopped

¼ c feta

1 tbsp olive oil plus more for rubbing peppers

1 tbsp butter

salt and pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove seeds and pith from peppers. Rub peppers with olive oil and set them aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and butter in a medium skillet over medium heat; add onions and sauté until soft. Once onions are soft, add celery, garlic and mushrooms and continue sautéing until mushrooms are soft. Remove from heat and place sautéed ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

3. Add rice, olives, feta, parsley and lamb (if using) to the sautéed ingredients and thoroughly combine. Stuff peppers with rice pilaf and place in a baking dish.

4. Bake peppers until soft and browned, 20-30 minutes. Remove peppers from oven and cool for about 10 minutes.

5. Serve stuffed peppers warm or room temperature.

Makes 4 stuffed peppers


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