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Stuffed Peppers with Rice

By: 
Orly Ziv
stuffed peppers with rice
Photo: Katherine Martinelli
Photo: Katherine Martinelli

Stuffed vegetables are hugely popular in Israel and this is a dish you can find at workingman restaurants and Shabbat tables across the country. On Fridays we can smell it cooking throughout our building. I prefer small peppers for stuffing as opposed to the large ones.

Ingredients: 
6-8 assorted sweet peppers
.....................................................................
FILLING
1 cup Persian rice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon ras-el-hanout (a Moroccan spice blend)
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)
.....................................................................
SAUCE
1 pound diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
2 cups boiling water
1 cup beer or white wine
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 tablespoon hot paprika (optional)
Directions: 
  1. Prepare the peppers: cut the caps (reserve) and remove the seeds.
  2. Rinse the rice and soak it in lukewarm salted water for 20 minutes.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry onions until translucent.
  4. Add the rice, salt, and pepper and cook for a few more minutes. 
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, ras-el-hanout, and pine nuts (if using).
  6. Fill the peppers with the rice mixture and arrange in a pot.
  7. Combine the sauce ingredients and pour over and around the peppers. Cover with the reserved caps.
  8. Cook over low heat, covered, for about 1 hour. Remove from the heat and serve.

Variations

  • For the 1 cup rice in the filling, substitute 1/2 cup rice and 1 pound ground meat.
  • For the 1 cup rice in the filling,  substitute 1 cup cooked lentils.
  • Add 1/2 cup cranberries or raisins to the filling.

Reprinted with permission from Cook in Israel: Home Cooking Inspiration by Orly Ziv. 

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