I spotted these bright orange peppers in the market last week and instantly piled them up in a bag. Although I knew they’d be perfect sliced thin into a fresh salad or tossed with some pasta and grape tomatoes, I also wanted to try them stuffed as I’ve only ever prepared gemista (the classic Greek staple of rice/meat stuffed vegetables) with red/green peppers and tomatoes.
No drastic changes here, although I did spruce up the stuffing by adding some mushrooms and omitting tomato which I usually include. I suggest using stock where I cite water/stock as a chicken or vegetable stock will add more depth and another layer of flavor. Fresh herbs from the garden really brightened up the rice mixture and the sweet flavor of the orange peppers was great with the mushrooms.
6 medium/large orange peppers
1 cup rice
1/2 a small onion, finely chopped
4 scallions, white and green parts finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 ounces mushrooms, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped dill
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup (divided) water/vegetable or chicken stock
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Clean the peppers then cut a cap around the top of the pepper and set aside. Scoop out any seeds from the inside of the pepper and then set aside with its cap.
In a large skillet, heat two tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the mushrooms, stirring to coat with the oil, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped onion, scallions and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes more. Add the rice to the skillet, stir and heat for about a minute or so. Season with salt and pepper; add the 1/4 cup water/stock and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; stir in the parsley and dill and set aside. (If the mixture seems a bit dry, add the remaining two tablespoons olive oil.)
Fill the peppers with a couple of heaping tablespoons of the rice mixture; loosely filling almost to the top of the peppers and being careful not to press the mixture down or pack it in. Place each pepper into a baking dish. Cover each pepper with its cap. Season tops with salt and freshly ground pepper, then drizzle with additional olive oil. Add about 1/3 cup water or stock to the baking dish. Cover the dish with foil and place in the oven to cook for about 1 hour (about 15 minutes before the end of cooking, remove foil from dish and let the peppers cook uncovered).