Stuffed Capsicums and Beans with Garlic Breadcrumbs

photo 2

Stuffed capsicums. Recipe courtesy of Essential Mediterranean (Murdoch Books, 2011).

These recipes (found in Essential Mediterranean) are simply delicious! The stuffed capsicums not only look good, they taste amazing too. The garlic breadcrumbs add an extra crunchy texture to the green beans. Not to mention, both recipes are simple to follow.

Ingredients 
175g long-grain white rice
310ml chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
6 medium-sized capsicums (any colour)
60g pine nuts
80ml olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
125g tomato passata (pureed tomatoes)
60g currants (I used sultanas)
2 1/2 tbs chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
2 1/2 tbs chopped mint leaves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method
1. Put the rice and stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low-medium, cover tightly and cook for 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and set aside, covered.

2. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Cut off the tops of the capsicums, reserving the lids. Remove the seeds and membrane from the capsicums and discard. Blanch the capsicums in the boiling water (not the lids) for 2 minutes, then drain and leave upturned to dry on paper towel.

3. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Toast the pine nuts in a small frying pan over low heat until golden brown, then remove from the pan and set aside. Increase the heat to medium and heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the passata, currants, parsley, mint, cinnamon, cooked die and toasted pine nuts to the pan. Stir for 2 minutes, then season with salt and pepper, to taste.

5. Stand the capsicums in a baking dish in which they fit snugly. Divide the rice mixture among the capsicum cavities. Replace the lids.

6. Pour 100ml boiling water into the dish and drizzle the remaining oil over the top of the capsicums. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the capsicums are just tender when tested with the point of a small knife. Serve warm or cold.

Serves 6

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Beans with garlic breadcrumbs. Recipe courtesy of Essential Mediterranean (Murdoch Books, 2011).

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients
600g trimmed baby green beans
60ml olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled
40g fresh white breadcrumbs
2 tbs chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

Method
1. Cook the beans in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender but still firm. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Drain again and pat dry with paper towel.

2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan and cook the garlic cloves until golden brown. Remove and discard.

3. Add the breadcrumbs to the oil and cook over low heat, or until brown and crunchy. Add the beans and parsley to the pan, then season to taste. Stir to mix with the breadcrumbs and warm the beans. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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