So easy to prepare, these baked capsicums are filled with savoury rice and tomato passata. Add one or two to your plate, as either a side dish or a light meal.

Our vegetable garden is groaning with fresh produce as summer reaches its height; so it’s time to look for a variety of ways to prepare different crops, as they are brought into the kitchen by the basketful. These just-picked green capsicums are so pretty when contrasted with the bright red of a tomato passata. Long grain rice is brought to life with some added fresh herbs and dried spices. Baked until tender and moist these little “pots” of food are a delight when served with either fish or chicken. They also make a simple light meal on their own.

Baked Stuffed Capsicums

Pour boiling water over the rice and turmeric powder; soak for 10 minutes.

Baked Stuffed Capsicums

Baked Stuffed Capsicums

Blend strained rice with spring onions and spices.

Baked Stuffed Capsicums

Half fill each capsicum with the rice mixture; push in a folded bay leaf.

Baked Stuffed Capsicums

Top rice with tomato passata. Pour 1-2 cm hot water outside capsicums.

INGREDIENTS

Makes four
4 capsicums, tops and ribs removed, seeded
3/4 cup long grain rice, triple washed and strained
2 spring onions: white ends finely sliced, green ends shredded diagonally
1/4 tsp powdered cumin
1/8 tsp dried chili powder
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
4 bay leaves, fresh if available
2-3 cups boiling water
1 cup tomato passata; or 1 cup diced canned tomatoes mixed with 1 tbsp tomato paste

METHOD

Preheat oven to 170C fan forced. Place capsicum shells snugly in a deep stainless steel pot. Place the washed rice in a heatproof bowl, sprinkle turmeric powder over and cover with 1 cup of boiling water; stir to dissolve turmeric. Soak for 10 minutes, then strain.
Mix cumin, chili powder and sliced white ends of spring onions with strained soaked rice and place a quarter cup of the mixture into each capsicum shell. Tuck a folded bay leaf into the centre of each. Top with passata, season with salt and pepper. Pour the remaining cup of hot water around the outside of the capsicums, to a depth of 1-2 cms. Cover with a lid and bake for one hour or until very tender. Carefully lift each stuffed capsicum out with a large spoon and tongs. Serve one as a side dish or two as a light meal.