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cook

Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers

Restaurant: The Natural Cookery School
Serves: 6
Prep / cook time 1 hour

Erin Baker of the Natural Cookery School in Nailsworth reminisces about enjoying the flavours of the Med with this simple dish:

Stuffed tomatoes and peppers takes me back to hot summer days in Greece traveling with my friend Sage. We had long suppers in the cool of the evening, sipping wine and enjoying the complex flavours of good ingredients cooked well, uncomplicated and unpretentious. 

I ordered this dish a couple of times. Traditionally the rice is put into the tomatoes and peppers uncooked, but I’ve saved a bit of oven time and pre-cooked the rice. I’ve also made it slightly healthier by reducing the copious amounts of olive oil down to a still generous amount.

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INGREDIENTS

Stuffed tomatoes & peppers

12 tbsp white rice

6 large ripe tomatoes

6 medium small red, yellow or orange peppers

3 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

small handful of fresh mint, chopped, reserving the sprigs for garnish

large handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped, reserving sprigs for garnish

4 tbsp toasted pine nuts

1 pack of halloumi cheese, cut into very small cubes

50g sultanas

200ml water

1 tbsp tomato puree

salt and freshly ground black pepper

extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

METHOD

1

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6
Cook the rice in a medium saucepan of boiling, salted water, stirring periodically, until almost cooked through; slightly under done is best, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and rinse the rice under cold running water. Set aside.

2

Cut the tops off the tomatoes and put to one side; carefully scoop out the flesh and put to one side as well. Chop the tops off the peppers and put to one side; discard the seeds and membrane. Place the tomatoes and peppers in a roasting pan large enough to hold them comfortably.

3

Take the tomato flesh and process it until pureed, using a hand blender or food processor. In a bowl, combine the tomato flesh, olive oil, rice, onion, garlic, mint, parsley, nuts, cheese and sultanas and season with salt and pepper. Stuff the peppers and tomatoes evenly with this mixture.

4

Combine the water, tomato puree and a little salt and pepper and pour this in and around the vegetables. Replace the tops of the tomatoes and peppers. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

5

Bake for 30-45 minutes. Garnish with the reserved herb sprigs.

TO SERVE

This is best served slightly warm or at room temperature.

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The Natural Cookery School

At the Natural Cookery School, we’re passionate about cooking delicious, wholesome and inspiring plant-based, food with locally sourced and organic ingredients – and we’ve been doing it for 25 years.

We host intimate classes in our state-of-the-art professional kitchen in the heart of the Cotswold town of Nailsworth, and we specialise in showing everyone who visits us how to become a natural in the kitchen.

To find out more about cookery classes and courses visit the Natural Cookery School.

You can find many of Erin’s recipes in her best-selling book, ‘The Veg Table’. Order a copy from her website or enter this month’s Prize Draw to be in with a chance of winning a copy!