Welcome to the first Monday of this month of May. Today I chose to make stuffed peppers from a recipe to be found on Martha Stewart's website. It's a recipe that was contributed by Mrs Kostyra, who was Martha's mother, and I thought it would be a timely choice since mother's day is so close.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Spread the pine nuts in single layer on a small baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 8 minutes. Shake the pan halfway through baking to make sure the pine nuts toast evenly.
- Line up the tomato slices on the bottom of a baking pan that's going to be just large enough to hold the 6 peppers. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper, sprinkle a little olive oil on top, and place a piece of thyme sprig on each slice.
- Combine the raisins and orange juice in a small bowl. Let stand until the raisins are plumped, about 15 minutes.
- Using a sharp knife, cut around the stems of the peppers. Core and seed them, reserving the stems. Set aside.
- In a sauce pan, bring the broth or water to a boil. Add the rice, and simmer, covered, until the rice is just a little undercooked, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the scallions, chopped pepper and shallots, and cook until the shallots are translucent, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
The combination of basil, raisins and orange juice give the stuffing an incredibly delicious flavor.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes and the raisins with their orange juice. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the thyme leaves, basil, parsley and pine nuts, stirring to combine. Stir in the cooked rice.
- The peppers will be done when they appear shriveled up; That's when they get really tender: their skin can literally be peeled off. Make sure there's always liquid left in the bottom of the pan. This way the peppers and the rice will stay moist through out the baking process.