Stuffed peppers remind us of our Italian grandmother's belly-bombing, meaty green peppers. Our Test Kitchen whipped up a lighter alternative for summer: raw red bell peppers filled with basmati rice salad, studded with avocado and cucumber, and dressed with a shallot, chive and tarragon vinaigrette. For a softer pepper, you can broil the peppers before stuffing them. Either way, they're heavily packed with flavor.
Avocado, Cucumber and Basmati Salad-Stuffed Peppers
From the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
½ cup brown basmati rice
4 small red bell peppers
1 medium cucumber--halved, seeded and chopped into ¼-inch pieces
½ avocado, pitted and chopped into ¼-inch pieces
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or tarragon vinegar
Juice of ½ lemon
½ small shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more if needed
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. Make the salad: Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and cook until it is al dente, 18 to 20 minutes. Drain the rice into a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water, shaking the sieve to drain off any excess water. Transfer the rice to a rimmed baking sheet, spread it into a single layer and cool completely, about 10 minutes.
2. On a cutting board, set the red bell peppers. Cut off the top one-third of the peppers and chop the tops into ¼-inch pieces. Remove the seeds from the bottom two-thirds. To a large bowl, add the chopped peppers along with the cooled basmati rice and the cucumber.
3. Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, shallot, chives, tarragon, the ¾ teaspoon of salt and the black pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the vinaigrette is creamy and emulsified. Pour the vinaigrette over the rice mixture and stir to combine. Taste and season with more salt, if needed. Gently stir in the avocado, then stuff each pepper with a generous portion of the salad and serve. Calories per Serving: 250; Sodium: 370mg; Total Carbohydrate: 27g; Fiber: 5g; Protein: 4g; Fat: 15g
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