At the end of January I reviewed The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and promised more recipes. Here is one you can make in advance and serve later that day or the next day. I would prepare the peppers earlier and then bake the dish about one hour before serving. (The book is available at bookstores and online. It costs $19.99 and is published by Fair Winds Press.)
Here’s the recipe from page 112. The author’s Compassionate Cooks’ Tip tip at the bottom of the page: “When choosing peppers for this dish, look for full ones with a deep cavity to stuff.”
Note: My iPhoto is not allowing me to upload my photo of the ones I baked, so I am using the cover again, since fortunately, the stuffed peppers are on the cover (bottom).
1 cup (235 ml) water
6 bell peppers, preferable a variety of colors
3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil, for brushing and oiling baking dish
salt & pepper, to taste
water or vegetable stock, for sautéing
2 medium-sized yellow onions, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 can (16 oz. or 455 g) fire roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 cup (415 g) cooked long-grain rice
3 tablespoons (18 g) chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons (12 g) chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons (8 g) chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons (27 g) raisins
2 to 3 tablespoons (12 to 18 g) ground almonds
Chopped mixed fresh herbs, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C, or gas mark 5) Boilone cup water (235 ml) water to pour around peppers in pan.
Halve peppers lengthwise, leaving stems intact, if possible. Scoop out seeds. Brush cut sides with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil, place them cut side up in a shallow, lightly oiled baking dish, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, until peppers are soft and easily pierced with a fork but still have their shape.
Heat a few tablespoons (45 ml) water or stock in a large soup pot. Sauté onion and garlic for 5 minutes ocer medium heat, until onion becomes translucent.
Add tomatoes and raw almonds, and sauté for another minute or two. Remove pan from heat and stir in rice, mint, parsley, basil, and raisins. Season well with salt and pepper, then spoon mixture into the peppers still on the baking sheet.
Pour 2/3 to 1 cup (155 to 235 ml) boiling water around the peppers, just enough to touch the base of each so they don’t burn. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Sprinkle ground almonds on top and bake 15 minutes longer. Serve garnished with fresh herbs, if desired.
Yield: 12 servings
Serving Suggestions and Variations: Try a combination of brown and wild rice, for added texture and color
Ellen Sue’s notes: Since the recipe calls for cooked rice, I would start the rice before anything else, so that while you are assembling the other ingredients and baking the pepper halves for 15 minutes to soften, the rice is cooking and will be just about ready when you finish cooking the onions and garlic and measuring out the herbs, raisins, and almonds. Or, if you have extra rice from a previous meal in the ‘frig, you can use that. Also, feel free to cut the recipe in half for a smaller yield. Finally, couscous and quinoa take very little time to cook, so you might want to try either of them for another variation.
P.S. I don’t like raisins with rice, so I omitted them and used more almond slivers.