It’s been a long long time since I ate stuffed peppers and a long time since I cooked them. Bell peppers and my tummy don’t always get along.
But I decided to give them another try.
My grandmother made a dish something like this one, only she used rice as the base. I switched to freekeh instead because I love this particular grain. It worked beautifully.
Looks good, tastes good, perfect for when you need a make-ahead dish to pop in the oven for dinner.
Perfect for Sukkot, when stuffed foods are traditional.
Easily transportable too.
Turkish Stuffed Peppers
8 bell peppers
1 cup cracked freekeh (or use rice)
2 tablespoons currants (or raisins)
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts, optional
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large tomato, chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1-3/4 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Place the peppers in a deep bowl and pour boiling water over them. Weight them down to keep them under the water. Let rest for 5 minutes. Drain and repeat the process with cold water. Cut a lid from the top of the peppers, but reserve the lids. Scoop out and discard the seeds and membranes. Set the peppers aside. Place the freekeh and currants in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let rest for 30 minutes. Drain. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and pignoli nuts, if used, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until the onion has softened and is slightly golden. Add the freekeh and currants and some salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato, sugar and allspice and cook for another minute, stirring occasionally. Add the stock, bring to a boil, cover the pan and lower the heat. Cook for about 40 minutes or until the freekeh is soft and all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the parsley, dill, mint and lemon juice. Let cool. Use to fill the peppers. Place lids on top. (You may prepare to this point and cook later). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the peppers in a baking dish. Add 2 cups of water to the dish. Bake the peppers for 40 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving (warm or at room temperature).
Makes 8 servings