Vegetarian stuffed vegetables

You won’t miss the meat in these beautiful Greek vegan stuffed vegetables – they are absolutely delicious.

4 medium peppers or 1 large Ramiro pepper, any colour you like
4 large firm ripe beef tomatoes
2 courgettes or aubergines, or both
150ml olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
225g long grain rice
50g pine nuts
50g raisins, currents or sultanas
1 tomato, chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp dried oregano
4 tbsp chopped parsley
4 tbsp chopped mint
300ml warm vegetable stock or water
2 large Cyprus potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges or 4-5 new potatoes

For cooking:
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 cup warm water
Olive oil
A pinch of oregano
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to180c/350f /gas 4.
Cut a cap from the top of the tomatoes, being careful not to detach the cap. Using a small spoon, gently scoop out the pulp and seeds and place in a food processer with the chopped tomato and blend. Keep for later. Place tomatoes upside down to drain.
Slice the pepper tops off, keeping the stalks on them.
Hollow the courgettes and aubergines; if aubergines are big, cut in half.
To make the filling, heat half the olive oil and sauté the onions for a few minutes, then add the garlic and pine nuts and cook until pine nuts are golden. Mix in the rice, season with salt and pepper, then add half of the blended tomatoes, tomato puree, oregano, raisins, sugar, cinnamon and cook for a minute, adding the vegetable stock or water. Simmer the filling over a low heat and keep mixing until all the water has been absorbed by the rice and it’s cooked a little.
Remove from the heat and mix in the herbs. While the filling is cooling, pre-cook the potatoes: blanch in hot water for 5 minutes, drain and place in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and add a few tablespoons olive oil.
Fill the vegetables, leaving a little room for the rice to swell, seal with the caps and place them closely together in a baking dish, tucking the potatoes between the stuffed vegetables.
Add the remaining blended tomatoes and warm water mixed with 1 tbsp of tomato purée, drizzle the remaining olive oil on top of the vegetables and season with a little salt, pepper and oregano.
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until vegetables and potatoes are cooked. Serve warm, not hot.

Leave a Reply