In our new venture into full-scale vegetarianism we have come across quite a few hits and this stuffed pepper recipe is one of them. I guess you could call it a formula instead of a recipe since it is so flexible, kind of a use what you have and what you like kind of thing. If you like red peppers more than green, go for it. Maybe olives or feta doesn't float your boat, substitute something else or leave it out. Personally, I could eat feta cheese until the cows come home or at least until my kids catch me with it and make me share! So here we go, Greek Stuffed Peppers.
Throw some brown (or white) rice in a bowl. I figure on about 1/2 cup for each pepper half so I used 5 cups this time. Also, this is a great dish to use leftover rice in. I try to cook extra rice whenever I'm cooking brown rice since it takes longer to cook. Leftover rice is good for breakfast or using in a main dish like this one. Now, add the chopped black olives. I guess if you were really being Greek you would use Kalamata olives but we go for good old black olives around here. I keep a can or two in the pantry for our "finger food lunches".
While you are chopping the olives and measuring rice, you can saute some onion and garlic in some olive oil. How much onion you need depends on how many peppers you are cooking. I used 1 large onion and 2 big cloves of garlic. Onions and garlic are inexpensive and add so much flavor you can almost never use too much as long as you cook it properly. With something like stuffed peppers that won't bake very long you would want to cook the onions completely before adding them to the other ingredients. Crunchy onions aren't a great thing in some dishes.
Here you see my filling, rice, olives, sauteed onions and garlic, diced cherry tomatoes and a package of feta cheese. It's seasoned with salt, lots of black pepper and some oregano. Let me warn you, this filling is fabulous. I have to fill the pepper halves before I taste it or I can't stop myself. It would make a great dinner just like this without the peppers.
Speaking of peppers. While I have been chopping and sauteing, measuring and mixing, my pepper halves have been roasting. Just slice them in half and clean out the seeds. I lay them cut side down to roast so they don't get watery. Word of advice here, foil is your friend. Use foil with this recipe because peppers make a mess. It's much easier to throw out the foil than clean a pan. I'd put foil on my kids it it would make them easier to clean.
After the peppers roast for about 25 minutes (400 degree oven), turn them over, sprinkle with salt and scoop the filling into them. I always put extra salt on the peppers before filling because it seems like they tend to be bland tasting. Salt really perks them up. So don't be shy with the salt. After they are all happily stuffed, pop them back into the oven until they are hot all the way through, about 10 minutes, then serve with a big salad and some bread. Oh, and while they are baking you can eat the rest of the filling out of the bowl!