Red rice stuffed peppers

By Pino Di Cerbo
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You’ve never had stuffed peppers like this before! The red rice is so packed full of spicy and savoury flavours that it could share a plate with any protein but stuffing it into sweet bell peppers keeps this dish veg-centric.

SERVES
8
 TO
10

Ingredients

Red Rice

  • 2 cups (470ml) red cargo rice
  • 3 cups (710ml) vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 green peppers, diced
  • 1 red Thai chilli, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) smoked paprika
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 15oz (450ml) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and black pepper, to season
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 15 oz (425g) mozzarella cheese, grated

Assemble

  • 8 red bell peppers
  • 1 cup (240ml) mozzarella, grated
  • 1 cup (240ml) breadcrumbs
  • Parsley with stem, for garnish

Directions

Red Rice

  1. Rinse the rice in a sieve until the water runs clear.
  2. In a medium pot bring the vegetable stock to a boil and add the rice. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove pot from the heat, and let rest for five minutes.
  4. Transfer rice to a tray and fluff with two forks. Reserve.
  5. Heat the oil in a large wok over medium-high.
  6. Fry the onions, green peppers, chilli pepper, and garlic until softened, four to five minutes.
  7. Add the cumin, oregano, paprika, and tomatoes. Cook for five minutes, stirring often.
  8. Add the cooked rice, and beans and season with salt and pepper. Cook for six to seven minutes, tossing and stirring occasionally to crisp up the rice.
  9. Remove the pan from heat and let the rice chill for 15 minutes. Squeeze lime juice into the rice. Fold in the mozzarella.

Assemble

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C)
  2. Cut the tops off the bell peppers, removing the seeds.
  3. Fill the hollowed-out bell peppers with the rice mixture, pack tight, and top with mozzarella cheese and breadcrumbs.
  4. Bake until peppers are tender, roughly 25 minutes. 
  5. Set the peppers on a serving tray, scattering the parsley over the top of them. Serve immediately. Enjoy!