This is an easy, colourful and delicious, filling, and spicy vegetarian dish which can be made vegan by omitting the butter. Serve with a side salad mixed with some sun-dried tomato strips, cherry tomatoes, and whatever herbs you used in the filling.
3 large capsicums, tops removed and seeded
olive oil, to taste
salt, to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small knob butter (optional)
1 small red onion, finely diced
3 small sun-dried tomato halves, finely diced
1 red chilli, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
5 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 small zucchini, finely diced
1/2 lemon, juiced
130g cooked white rice
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano (see tips)
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Place the capsicum, standing upright, in a suitable baking dish. Drizzle sparingly with olive oil, including between and around the capsicum. Add a small pinch of salt into each.
Bake for around 10 minutes, until they are just starting to become tender but still firm enough to hold their shape. Remove from the oven and set aside. Keep the oven switched on.
Meanwhile, in a frying pan over a medium heat, warm the vegetable oil plus a small knob of butter (if using, if not use a bit more oil) until very hot. Add the onion and sun-dried tomato pieces, stir well, and reduce heat to low. Cook and stir for 5 minutes until the onion has softened.
Add the red chilli and garlic then cook and stir for another 5 minutes. Increase stove heat to medium-high then add the cherry tomatoes, stir well and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the zucchini and lemon juice then gently stir until the cherry tomato pieces are squidgy but still whole, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cooked rice, salt, pepper and oregano then stir well. Once well mixed, spoon the filling into the capsicum. Pack them firmly, but not enough to make their sides split.
Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the capsicum when pinched feels quite soft but still a bit al dente. Remove from the oven. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil, and garnish with some more herbs (see tips). Serve and enjoy.
If you don't have a small enough baking dish to hold your capsicums standing up, try linking them 2-by-2 with a toothpick or small cocktail stick inserted near the top.
I like to use yellow or orange capsicums for a nice colour contrast with the green and red of the filling.
Try different herbs, marjoram works well, and you can try basil, thyme, sage, etc. You can also add 3 finely chopped chestnut mushrooms for an earthy, meatier taste (add with the cherry tomatoes in step 5).