Stuffed Peppers and Garnacha
A gutsy, fruity red works magic with the medley of spice flavours in this Eastern dish
- Aviva Vino 2010 Bodegas Terra Sigilata Filón Garnacha
Recipe and image from Modern Flavors of Arabia by Suzanne Husseini
3 red peppers
3 yellow peppers
2 cups uncooked short-grain white rice,
rinsed and drained 500 mL
2 TBsp clarified butter 30 mL
2 tsp cinnamon 10 mL
2 tsp allspice 10 mL
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 TBsp dried mint 45 mL
to taste salt and pepper
10 oz ground lamb 285 g
6 slices of tomato
2 TBsp olive oil 30 mL
6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
8 large fresh tomatoes, peeled and puréed
1 cup water 250 mL
1/4 cup tomato paste 60 mL
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped 120 mL
1/4 cup parsley, chopped 60 mL
fresh mint chopped, to garnish
Cut the tops of the peppers carefully with a knife, leaving the stem intact. REMOVE the membrane and seeds. Keep the tops as they will be the lids. RINSE and leave aside to prepare the stuffing.
In a large bowl, PLACE the rice, butter, 1 tsp of the cinnamon, 1 tsp of the allspice, minced garlic, 2 TBsp of the dried mint, salt and pepper, mixing well. ADD the ground lamb and, using your hands, mix it into the rice. FILL the hollow peppers loosely two-thirds full, leaving the rice plenty of room to expand, and place 1 tomato slice on top. Cover with the top of the pepper. Repeat for all peppers. PLACE the filled peppers in a deep baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a saucepan, HEAT the olive oil and SAUTÉ the sliced garlic for 1 minute and POUR in the puréed tomatoes. Add the water, tomato paste, 1 TBsp dried mint, fresh mint, parsley, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp allspice, salt and pepper. TASTE to adjust seasonings. Pour the tomato sauce all around the peppers. Cover with foil and BAKE in the preheated oven for 45 minutes until rice is cooked. SERVE hot with the tomato sauce and a sprinkle of fresh, chopped mint.
A dish as colourful, exotic and delicious as these stuffed peppers deserves a wine with bold intensity to match. The Aviva Vino 2010 Bodegas Terra Sigilata Filón Garnacha Calatayud, Spain $14.95 (280602) is wonderfully fruity with smoky and peppery complexity. Produced with fruit from 30- to 40-year-old vines, it offers good concentration of aromas and flavours and terrific balance at an amazing price.