Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bell Peppers Stuffed with Wild Rice, Pine Nuts & Currants

Colorful bell peppers can be stuffed with a variety of ingredients to create just the right taste for a holiday dinner. The ingredients we used here were inspired by our vegetarian stuffed grape leaves, but all kinds of nuts and fruits can be combined to complement these beauties. Try substituting sunflower or pumpkin seeds for the way-too-expensive pine nuts; use cranberries instead of currants. Alter the taste with the addition of cheese, mushrooms, and other sauteed vegetables. The possibilities are nearly endless.

These are substantial enough to serve as a main dish.

1 cup wild rice, uncooked
1 3/4 cups vegetable broth, divided
4-6 bell peppers
2 Tbs olive oil
2/3 cup onion, chopped
2 cloved garlic, chopped
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup zante currants
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted


1. Combine rice and 1 1/2 broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover tightly and reduce heat to simmer for about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, add the currants to plump them up, and allow to sit 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over a medium flame. Shake the pan gently and often until just golden. Set aside.

3. Saute the onions, parsley and garlic in 1 1/2 Tbs of olive oil. Cook until aromatic and onions are translucent, but do not allow to brown. Add to rice and currants and mix.

3. Preheat oven to 375F and lightly oil a baking dish with the remaining oil.

4. Cut a thin slice along the side of each pepper, and carefully remove the seeds and membrane. (If you prefer, go in from the top. It's definitely easier.) Using a teaspoon, fill each pepper with the rice mixture. Place in baking dish, slit side up. Spoon remaining broth over the rice and bake for 30 minutes until peppers are tender. Serve hot.

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