Monday, November 14, 2011

Over Abundance

It had been a long time since I’d made stuffed peppers, but it was the perfect way to use all those magnificent peppers. Our plants produced bushels of them. So many peppers to put by, use, and give away—and we did all of those things. 

After I’d put by all the peppers our freezer could hold, given away as many as our neighbors and friends would take, there was still a bushel of peppers on our porch.  So, I pulled out my stuffed pepper recipe and got busy!  We ate stuffed peppers for several days.  When they were gone, I made more.  The slightly crunchy texture and the nutty flavor of the rice medley combined with the tartness of the tomatoes enhanced by the basil and parsley was absolutely delicious.  Can’t  wait to make these again next harvest season.  Here’s to an over abundance of green peppers! 

Note for this recipe:  Rice Medley is a mixture of rices we purchase at the local Coop.  It contains brown rice, wild rice, long grain rice among others.  White rice can be substituted, but flavor and texture suffer. If substituting white rice reduce water to four cups and cooking time to 20 minutes.

Stuffed Green Peppers

2 c. rice medley mix
1 tsp. salt
8 green peppers
Olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 small summer squash, diced (about 1 c.)
1 tomato, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
¼ c. chopped parsley
¼  chopped basil
Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Place rice medley mix in a pan with a lid, add 4-1/2 c. water and 1 tsp. salt.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.

Set a large pot filled with water on the stove.  Cover and bring to a boil.  While the water is heating, slice off a small piece from the top of each pepper.  Carefully remove any remaining seeds and filaments and discard.  When the water boils add 1 tsp. salt.  

Place the prepared green peppers into the boiling water.  Blanche peppers for approximately 1 to 2 minutes.  Peppers should still be bright green and not be more than slightly softened.

When the rice is cooked, select a heat-proof pan large enough to hold the peppers and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350.  Place a large skillet on the stove, turn mead to medium and add enough olive to coat the bottom.  When the oil is hot add the onion, garlic and vegetables.  Sauté until vegetables are just tender.  Stir in about 3 cups cooked rice and the herbs.  Mix to combine.  Add more rice if necessary.  Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Stuff the peppers gently tamping the mixture to remove air bubbles.  Set the stuffed peppers into the selected heat-proof pan.   Sprinkle to top of each pepper with a little Parmesan cheese.

Open the oven door and pull out the rack.  Place the pan on the ack and fill with two inches of water.  (Water should come half way up the peppers.)  Carefully slide the rack into the oven.  Bake the peppers until the peppers are softened, the stuffing is heated through and the cheese has browned. 

Remove the peppers to a serving dish with sides.  Serve immediately.  Store and uneaten peppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.