Brown Rice and Walnut Stuffed Capsicums
Stuffed Capsicums are one of Maddy’s child hood favourites. They are really popular in Romanian cooking, and I think Eastern European cooking in general. I only really started cooking when I was about 19- 20 years old. It was one of the first dishes mum taught me to make because we knew that Maddy (my then fiancé) loved them so much. And I have been making them ever since. Lately I see many stuffed capsicum recipes using quinoa, which all sound really yummy but today I am sharing a healthier, plant-based version of the traditional stuffed capsicums I am used to.
Traditionally stuffed capsicums are filled with white rice and mince. I personally never liked this version, because I always hated beef. Every once in a while, mum would make a vegetarian version using walnuts if we had a random vegetarian guest coming over. They were the only ones that I ever really enjoyed. I remember visiting my auntie’s house in Romania a few years back before I became vegetarian. (My aunty is an amazing cook and loves cooking more than anything else in the world.) She was so excited when she found out about Maddy’s love for stuffed capsicums that she rushed off to the kitchen to get started on them right away. I remember blurting out… “please make them with the walnuts!” She looked at me as if I was really strange and insisted that it could not be done. When I explained to her how I do it, she took me up on the challenge and proceeded to make a small batch of vegetarian walnut capsicums and the rest with the traditional mince beef. She came to me later and said “you are right, the walnut ones taste better”. So there you have it, proof that vegetarian versions are tastier, even from a sceptic.
It was difficult writing this recipe since I have made it so many times I don’t use any measurements and just eyeball everything and adjust seasoning along the way, but I did my best. Just keep tasting the rice as you go and adjust seasonings to your liking. Hope you enjoy the recipe. It’s a wonderfully hearty, comforting and filling dinner that always reminds me of home.
|Brown Rice and Walnut Stuffed Capsicums|| |
- 6-7 large capsicums or 8-10 smaller ones
- 2 cups brown rice
- 6 cups water
- 1 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil or oil of choice
- 2 brown onions - diced
- 1 large carrot grated
- 1-2 TBSP dry vegetable stock ( to taste)
- 1 cup of ground walnuts
- 1 heaped TBSP tomato paste
- extra salt to taste
- Begin by cutting the tops of your capsicum and remove the seeds and pithy white bits
- Dice your onion and lightly fry them in a base of a large pot with oil.
- Once onions are translucent add your rice together with about 6 cups water and stock, bring to the boil and maintain slow steady boil for about 10 -15 minutes
- Add your ground walnuts (ground them up in a food processor) and grated carrot and mix through until well incorporated.
- Reduce heat and simmer for another 30 minutes or so.
- Once most of the water as absorbed into the rice, dissolve tomatoe paste in ½ cup of water and add to the rice. Mix through and allow to cook for a few more minutes.
- All up the rice should be cooking for 50min – an hour. You want a gluggy sticky, overcooked consistency as the rice dries up in the oven. You may need to add more water as you go.
- Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Once rice is cooked spoon in your rice mixture into the capsicum shells
- Bake covered with lid for 1 hour at 200 degrees C
- The capsicums will let off extra water, which will gather at the base of your dish. This is normal. Many people add extra seasoning to the water and turn it into a sauce that they then drizzle over the top of the capsicum. I always thought that was grose but feel free to do so if you like the idea!