I have been enjoying Rick Stein’s trip around the mediterranean sea from Venice to Istanbul. Although he’s famous for fish, he has also been featuring some vegetarian recipes. And this one, from Greece, was a lunch favourite for the crew, apparently.
Stuffed peppers, are nothing new for veggies, of course, but these are sunny and light-flavoured while still being substantial enough as a lunch dish on their own.
2 large red peppers
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tomato, skinned and chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
150g long-grain rice
200ml vegetable stock
pinch chilli flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 small packet of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 sprigs mint, finely chopped
lemon juice (optional)
Remove the ‘lids’ from the peppers and scoop out the seeds.
Place upright in a roasting tin. Keep the lids to one side.
Heat some oil in a saucepan, and sweat the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent and softened.
Add the chopped tomato and tomato puree and simmer for a few minutes.
Add the rice, vegetable stock, chilli and herbs, season with salt and pepper stir thoroughly and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes the rice should have absorbed most of the stock, but it should still be a fairly wet mixture.
Spoon the rice mixture into the peppers and replace the ‘lids’.
Season with salt and pepper.
Pour 100ml of just boiled water into the roasting tin and cover with kitchen foil.
Put in a preheated over, 180C for an hour.
After an hour, remove the foil and put back in the oven for a further 30 minutes
Serve hot, room temperature or cold with some lemon juice drizzled over the top.
Serves 2 for lunch
I’ve called this recipe midweek vegetable pilau because it is a recipe you could easily put together after a hard day’s work. There’s a bit of chopping at the beginning but after that it takes care of itself.
I am making no apologies for using frozen vegetables in this dish. I think they’re ideal for single people or people on a tight budget. There’s no loss of nutrients in the freezing process and no noticeable lack of texture in a dish like this. And no waste. And it uses curry powder. So sue me. There are times when I want to grind my own curry spices, but a Thursday night after a day at work generally isn’t one of them. Of course, if you feel differently, please add your own spice mix.
This has a lot of taste that belies the effort involved. And it’s very comforting on a cold night.
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp curry powder
150g basmati rice
200g frozen mixed vegetables
30g cashew nuts
400g tin chopped tomatoes or passata
200ml veg stock
2 tbsp coriander, chopped
Heat a little oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic.
Sweat them for a while until the onion goes translucent.
Stir in the curry powder and let it cook for a minute.
Then add the rice, mixed vegetables, nuts, tomatoes and the veg stock.
Season with salt and pepper.
Bring to the simmer and put the lid on.
Simmer gently for 20 minutes.
Keep an eye on it and add more liquid if it’s starting to catch on the bottom of the pan.
Serve with the coriander sprinkled over the top.
When you think about it kedgeree is one of the stranger products of the British Empire. It’s one of the original ‘fusion foods’, although I do have to wonder about the thought processes that came up with smoked haddock as a suitable substitute for lentils and vegetables. I was going to try to make the original authentic khichri but then I found this Taifun Smoked Tofu and thought it would be a good substitute for smoked haddock.
The tofu works well here. It has a light smoked taste that lets the flavour of the basmati rice shine even with spice of the curry. This is also one of the few recipes where curry powder is the correct ingredient to use so you can relax and enjoy being authentically inauthentic! And don’t use too much of it either, you don’t want to excite the memsahib!
150g basmati rice
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp curry powder/paste
200g smoked tofu
50g frozen peas
fresh coriander, chopped
Wash the rice thoroughly to get rid of as much of the starch as possible.
Put it in a saucepan and pour on enough water to cover it to a depth of 2cm.
Boil until the water is no longer visible and there are deep pits in the surface of the rice.
Cover with a damp cloth and put the saucepan lid on.
Turn the heat down low and cook for 10 minutes.
Then turn the heat off and leave for 5 for minutes.
After that remove the lid and cloth and fluff the rice up with a fork.
While the rice is cooking, fry the onion in a little oil until it is golden brown.
Remove half the onion and reserve for later.
Add the curry powder to the onion in the pan and cook for about a minute.
Add the tofu and the peas and heat through until both are cooked. If the mixture gets dry add some water to moisten it.
When the tofu and peas are cooked add them to the cooked basmati rice and stir thoroughly to combine them.
Serve with the reserved onion and chopped coriander sprinkled on top.
Serves 2 as a hearty meal