When we think of putting our dinner on the grill, we don’t normally head toward vegan fare. Instead, a thick-cut rib eye seems to be the main dish that comes to mind.
Firing up the grill will not only spark any appetite, but also your creativity. We’re accustomed to grilling our favourite meats and kabobs, but it’s time to think outside that basic barbecuing box: salads, meat-free mains and side dishes can all be seared to perfection.
Try this version of your favourite stuffed pepper, with that delicious char that only a barbecue can deliver.
Using colourful peppers results in a taste reminiscent of homemade roasted red peppers. The stuffing is delicious on its own, perfect as a side dish or mixed with greens for an impromptu salad.
Vegan, gluten-free. Serves 4.
4 large red, yellow or orange bell peppers
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (50 g) almonds, walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup (60 g) dry brown basmati rice (or other rice)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups (425 ml) water
3 green onions, chopped
2/3 cup (90 g) sliced cherry tomatoes
Handful of fresh basil
Handful of fresh parsley
4 x 1 m (100 cm each) kitchen string, for securing peppers (if you don’t have kitchen string, hemp string soaked in water works perfectly)
Heat the oil in a medium pan and add the nuts, until lightly toasted and fragrant. Add the rice, and continue to stir, until grains are glossy. Stir in the garlic, cooking for about 30 seconds more. Add the water and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 35 to 45 minutes, until water is absorbed.
Meanwhile, prepare the peppers. Cut around the stalk of the pepper, setting aside for later. Make one slit down the length of the pepper and open gently. Remove any seeds and membrane. Repeat with other peppers.
When rice is finished cooking, remove from heat, cool slightly, and stir in green onions, cherry tomatoes, basil and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon some stuffing into each pepper, careful not to overfill. Take string and wrap around the centre about three times, tying the pepper securely. There should be string left over on each end. Top with the stalk, then tie in the other direction, securing the filling. You want to ensure the filling doesn’t fall out — no matter how you end up tying it. Repeat with other peppers.
Preheat the barbecue to medium heat. Place peppers on grill for about 20 minutes, turning frequently so they are evenly browned. If they char — no problem, just slip off the skin; the pepper will still taste fabulous. You can also grill them on foil if you prefer.