Holiday Feature

Sweet Peppers
Stuffed with Saffron Rice

Polvron au Riz Saffrane


Sweet Peppers It is easy to get confused by all the names, types and colors of peppers. Like tomatoes, the color of peppers, or capsicums, as they are also known, changes with their stages of ripeness, from green to yellow to red. Their flavor changes, too, becoming sweeter as the fruit matures. Many cooks recommend skinning peppers before use by broiling (grilling) them until the skin can be peeled away. I prefer to leave the skin on.


1/2 cup (4 fl. oz. 125 ml) olive oil
1 green sweet pepper (capsicum) deseeded
   and cubed medium onion chopped
1 stalk fennel chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 cup (4 oz. 125 g) brown rice
1-1/2 cups (12 fl. oz. 375 ml) water
2 tablespoons tomato paste (purée)
1 cup (4 oz. 125 g chopped fresh spinach or sorrel leaves
Large pinch of saffron or turmeric
1/3 cup (2 oz. 60 g) green peas
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 red sweet peppers (capsicums)
   tops sliced off and seeds
   and white membranes removed


Heat the oil in a saucepan and stir-fry green sweet pepper, onion, fennel, and garlic for 4 minutes. Do not brown.

Add the rice and stir well. Stir in the water. Add the tomato paste, spinach or sorrel, spice, and peas. Bring to the boil, cover, and cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until the rice is cooked but still firm and has absorbed all the water. Add more water during cooking if it is absorbed too quickly Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fill the red sweet peppers with the rice mixture Place the peppers, upright, in a shallow baking pan. Add water to half-way up the peppers. Season the water and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Braise in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for about 35 minutes.

Flavor the cooking water, if necessary, with little yeast extract to form a stock. Serve the peppers hot or cold, moistened with a little stock

For a more substantial dish, add diced hard-boiled eggs, nuts, cooked beans, grated cheese or diced mushrooms, to the cooked rice mixture.



The Flavors of France:
Fabulous Vegetarian Cuisine for Every Occasion

By Jean Conil and Fay Franklin
Photography by Andrew Elton
$28.00 (Hardcover)
Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN: 0-207-18837-8
190 recipes; 84 full-color photographs
Recipe reprinted by permission.


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This page created December 1998; modified November 2006