Roasted sweet red capsicums filled with a green rice herbal filling, topped with a creamy spicy aioli make a great side or a main dish to share. This is the sort of dish which also gives you the opportunity to use up any greens that you may have leftover in the fridge. For example, if you have left over fennel fronds, English spinach, any green herb…they all work great here! You can also use any other grain alternative like quinoa, buckwheat...etc. Feel free to add some legumes or other vegetables into your green rice filling. If you would like to make these completely dairy free – just use tahini instead of the mayonnaise, plus a good dash of water to balance out the texture.
- 6 x red capsicums
- 2 x long green chillies
- 7 x garlic cloves
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cups Basmati rice (you can also use any other rice or grain)
- 3 cups of water (to cook the rice)
- 2 x bunches coriander (leaves and stems, ends removed)
- 90g x baby spinach
- 1 x bunch fennel fronds (substitute for tarragon, spring onion or chives)
- 1 x bunch parsley
- ½ bunch mint
- 1 x lemon (juice only)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- salt + pepper
Place the rice into a bowl and top with water. Soak the rice for 1 hour (preferably) otherwise at least 15 minutes. Rinse well and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Wash the capsicums and slice the top ends off, approximately 1.5 cm thick (keep them to use later). Place the capsicums, the green chillies and 5 of the garlic cloves onto a large baking tray. Place the capsicum tops into a smaller separate baking tray.
Coat the capsicums, chilli and garlic in all of the olive oil and space them out in the trays. Season with salt. Place the two trays into the oven to cook for 30 minutes.
To cook the rice, transfer the rinsed rice into a small pot, add the 3 cups of water and a sprinkle of salt. Cover with a lid and bring to a simmer on a high heat. Once the water is simmering, reduce to the lowest heat possible and cook for approximately 15 minutes. Check the rice and once cooked transfer the rice to a large mixing bowl.
Meanwhile finely slice all of the greens (or use a food processor for a roughly chopped texture). Toss all of the greens through the rice.
Remove the trays of capsicums, garlic and chilli from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Peel the garlic skin off the garlic and tear the softened garlic into smaller pieces and add it to the green rice, along with the flavoured leftover oil from the tray. If you notice some juice at the bottom of each capsicum, add that into the green rice mixture too for extra flavour.
Fill each capsicum with plenty of the green rice filling (use a spoon to push the rice down) and cover with the capsicum tops. Place into the oven to cook for another 15 minutes or until the herbs in the rice become soft and aromatic.
Meanwhile to make the chilli garlic aioli, finely dice the 2 raw garlic cloves. Slice the chillies in half lengthways, remove the seeds and use a small spoon to scoop out the cooked chilli flesh from the skin. Place the raw garlic, chilli, and lemon juice into a food processor along with the mayonnaise and process until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt.
Serve the capsicums sliced in half or whole along with the chilli garlic aioli.
Makes 6 filled capsicums
Prep time: 15 minutes – 1 hour soaking time for the rice + 20 minutes general prep
Cook time: 45 minutes