The sun has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray, the sun has got his hat on so we ate stuffed peppers today.
Is there anything much nicer than a stuffed pepper when the sun is shining? These are great for 5:2ers on fasting days, as they are low in calories but filling and tasty. If you wanted to make these on a day where you weren’t restricted to a quarter of your usual calorie intake, or you didn’t fancy making them vegetarian, you could add chorizo, bacon or pancetta. If fish is more your thing, you could make a stuffing with tuna, or cook up some anchovies whilst you’re sweating off the veg. You could discard their little hats and top them, instead, with breadcrumbs, and a drizzle of olive oil, or you could sprinkle more cheese over the top. They are wonderfully versatile, the possibilities are endless.
And I love them because they are cheerful, and pretty.
- 5 red peppers
- 150g wild rice
- 1 medium onion (approx 150g)
- 1 large courgette (approx 150g)
- 1/2 a fennel bulb
- 2 sticks of celery (approx 100g)
- 1 large tomato
- 20g boursin with garlic and herbs
- 25g mature cheddar, grated.
- 1/2 teaspoon harissa.
- 1tbsp olive oil
- Boil a pan of water for the rice and preheat your oven to 180 C. Whilst the water is heating up, prep your vegetables. Finely dice the onion, celery, fennel, courgette and tomato. Slice the top off the peppers and scoop out the seeds and white pith. Put them to one side in a supportive dish, eg a pie dish.
- Once the water is boiling rapidly, tip the rice in and cook for approximately 15 minutes.
- Whilst the rice is cooking, heat up a frying or saute pan to a moderate heat, pour in the olive oil and sweat the diced vegetables for as long as it takes for the rice to cook. You might need to add a splash of water occasionally if it looks like it might catch or stick.
- When the vegetables have cooked down, take the pan off the heat and add the harissa, boursin and cheddar to the pan. Mix thoroughly, then drain the rice and add it to the vegetable and cheese mixture.
- Using a spoon, stuff the raw peppers with this mixture, then pop their little hats back on and oven cook for 40-50 minutes, or until the peppers are cooked and their skin is slightly blistered.
- It was a toss up between wild rice and giant cous cous for this recipe. I went with rice because I thought it might hold up better whilst the peppers bake, but next time I'll try it with the couscous.