The Epicurean VI

Originally posted in The Daily Pulse 09.20.04

This week’s recipe is a little Mediterranean dish I planned to make this Saturday at a friend’s party. Alas, I didn’t go due to having had a very long week as it was. But in apology, I decided I should at least put out the planned meal for all of you to enjoy!

Ingredients

2 large ripe tomatoes
1 green bell Pepper
1 yellow or orange bell pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for sprinkling
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup blanched almonds, chopped
1/2 cup long grain wild rice, cooked and drained
1/2 ounce parsley
2 tablespoons golden raisins
3 tablespoons ground almonds
salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the pulp and seeds using a teaspoon. Leave the tomatoes to drain on a paper towel, making sure the cut side is down. Chop the seeds and pulp up and put it aside for now.

2. Cut the peppers in half, leaving the cores intact. Scoop out the seeds. Now brush the peppers with one of the tablespoons of olive oil and bake on a baking sheet for 15 minutes. Then place the peppers and tomatoes in a shallow ovenproof dish and season with salt and pepper.

3. Saute the onions in the remaining oil for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and almonds and then saute for another minute.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rice, the copped up tomatoes from earlier, the mint, the parsley, and the golden raisins. Season well with salt and pepper and then spoon the mixture into the hollowed out peppers and tomatoes.

5. Place the stuffed peppers and tomatoes onto a baking dish. Pour 2/3rd’s cup of boiling water around the tomatoes and peppers and bake for 20 minutes. Pull them out, scatter the remaining almonds and sprinkle them with a little extra olive oil. Return to the oven and bake again for 20 minutes, or entire the entree is golden brown.
There’s also a couple variations you can do with this recipe. The first would be to use eggplant and zucchini as the veggies being stuffed. Now I loathe the tastes of all gourds, so this is right out for me, but I know a lot of people do enjoy them. There’s no difference to the recipe, except you’ll be using the gourd insides instead of the pepper and tomato guts for the recipe. And again, as I dislike the taste of gourds, Alex wouldn’t use this variation himself. Icky.

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