My friend who shared her bounty of homegrown eggplant also shared mini bell peppers from her garden. Loved it! Lucky me. 🙂 I searched for a special way to use them. These stuffed peppers were a complete success- everyone in my family enjoyed them.
This recipe was originally intended to be a vegetarian main dish using full-size red bell peppers. I used these mini peppers instead and served them as a side dish with sautéed kabocha squash and rotisserie chicken.
This dish was full-flavored and delicious. The recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Emilee and Jere Gettle. Absolutely wonderful.
Yield: approximately 10 mini bell peppers or 4 full-size bell peppers
- 10 mini bell peppers or 4 large bell peppers (any color)
- 2 T unsalted butter or grapeseed oil
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- coarse salt
- 3/4 cup long-grain white rice (I used Basmati)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
- 1 large jalapeño, finely chopped with or without seeds, as desired (I ribbed and seeded the chile)
- 8 oz cremini or oyster mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 cups chopped spinach (I used baby spinach)
- 1/4 cup chopped basil, preferably Thai, plus more for garnish (I used Italian basil)
- freshly squeezed juice from half of a large lemon
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Slice the tops off the peppers and cut the tops into 1/4-inch dice; discard the cores and stems.
- Boil the hollowed out peppers until just tender, about 3 minutes for mini peppers or 4 minutes for full size peppers. Using tongs, carefully transfer the peppers to paper towels to drain, cut side down. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water.
- Mince the shallots and garlic in a mini food processor, if desired; remove and set aside.
- Dice the jalapeno and pepper tops in the food processor. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the shallots and garlic, season with salt and cook over moderate heat until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the rice and cook, stirring, until toasted, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in the coconut milk, ginger, curry paste and the 1 1/2 cups of reserved pepper water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the liquid is absorbed, 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°, preferably on convection.
- In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the diced bell pepper tops and the jalapeño and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until tender, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the mushrooms, cover and cook, stirring a few times, until tender, 5 minutes.
- Uncover and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are browned, 4 minutes longer.
- Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the vegetable mixture to the rice and stir in the basil and lemon juice. Season with salt to taste.
- Fill the peppers with the rice mixture and set them in a shallow glass, ceramic baking dish, or rimmed baking sheet. (I used a cookie scoop.)
- Tent with foil and bake for about 22 to 25 minutes for mini peppers or up to 45 minutes for full size peppers, until the rice filling is steaming and heated through.
- Garnish with basil leaves and serve.