Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Two Fat Peppers.

One red, one green. Otherwise known as bell peppers. Or capsicums.

Cut 'em into salads. Bake them until their skin turns black and peels off leaving sensual, unctuous baked pepper flesh which goes very nicely in strips, with anchovies, in spaghetti.

Or stuff 'em.

That's what I did.

Boil some rice. (I boiled four parts white rice and one part brown arborio rice - different pots, they take different times - and mixed them together for a more interesting texture.)

Toast some pinenuts - careful, don't burn them.

Cook some minced meat and onions. I cook the onions first in little oil, remove the onions, cook the mince, add back the onions. Then a bunch of fresh herbs from the garden - I used plenty of mint, parsley and a little sage. The meat - beef is fine, but I used ground pork and veal from the Italian butchers in Sydney Road. Try to drain away as much fat as possible.

Combine cooked mince and rice. Mine was about three parts rice to one part meat. Add spices - I used about a tablespoon of sumac and a dash of zatar. Salt and pepper.

Cut the tops of the peppers and stuff them with the rice mixture. Place their lids back on and lay in a baking dish. A lidded one works well, keeping the peppers moist. But an open one is OK, just watch the fluid level. Surround the peppers with a can of chopped tomatoes, add half a cup of white wine and the same amount of water. These proportions will depend on the size of your peppers. Don't drown them. Mine were huge. (Fit the baking dish size as close as possible to the peppers and their lids won't come off as the rice expands slightly.)

Bake. An hour should do it. You can do it the night before and reheat it.

Two Fat Stuffed Peppers. One red, one green. Delicious. Nice cold, too.

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