Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Taste of Greece - Gluten-free Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes

My honeymoon in Greece was so amazing and the food was just spectacular!  Best part...most of the food was Gluten-Free!! 

A recently bought a Greece cookbook to learn how to make these amazing dishes at home.  My first attempt...stuffed peppers and tomatoes.  The recipe below serves 6, so feel free to adjust for less people.

I found dry roasting the pine nuts was utterly amazing and I plan to do this for most of my other dishes too, including salads.  Very fragrant and earthy.


6 very ripe tomatoes
6 large green bell peppers
1 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup chopped almonds
1 onion, chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup brown rice
1 cup golden raisins
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 1/2 ounces scallions
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup tomato juice
3/4 ounce fresh mint
1 tbsp sugar
1 ounce flat-leaf parsley

1. Wash the tomatoes and peppers. Cut a small slice off the base so they can sit flat in the pot and cut off small "lids" on top. Use a melon baller or small spoon to scoop out the tomatoes and reserve the flesh in a separate bowl. Then remove the seeds and membranes from the peppers.

2. Dry-fry the pine nuts in a skillet on the stove over medium heat. Remove, then do the same to the chopped almonds. In another skillet, add 3 1/2 tbsp. oil and add the chopped onion. Fry for 3 minutes until softened and then add the rice. The amount of rice will depend on how big your peppers/tomatoes are. Stir the rice in rapidly, then add the raisins, chopped garlic, chopped scallions, cinnamon, pine nuts and almonds.

3. Add the reserved tomato flesh and stir. Pour in just enough water and diluted tomato juice to cover the mixture. You can also substitute water for chicken broth if desired. Leave to cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.

4. Chop the mint and add to the rice when it is tender and the juices have been absorbed. Season to taste and give the mixture a final stir.

5. Arrange the tomatoes and peppers in an ovenproof dish. Smear the insides with a little sugar, then fill them with the rice stuffing.

6. Put the "lids" back on the stuffed peppers and tomatoes. Pour a generous amount of olive oil over each one. Place in a 375 degrees pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes, basting regularly with the oil and cooking juices. Serve hot or cold scattered with chopped parsley.