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.
- Prepare the peppers: cut the caps (reserve) and remove the seeds.
- Rinse the rice and soak it in lukewarm salted water for 20 minutes.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry onions until translucent.
- Add the rice, salt, and pepper and cook for a few more minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, ras-el-hanout, and pine nuts (if using).
- Fill the peppers with the rice mixture and arrange in a pot.
- Combine the sauce ingredients and pour over and around the peppers. Cover with the reserved caps.
- Cook over low heat, covered, for about 1 hour. Remove from the heat and serve.
- 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.