After a splendid and fantastic birthday weekend surrounded by all of my loving friends, I still had my entire CSA Farm Box to cook. The veggies still looked pretty good but I knew they wouldn’t last much longer so I started to think of ways to use them up. I had a friend over because we are working on a non-cooking project. She is vegan and as I stood there in my kitchen talking with her about this project and thinking about what I was going to do with the veggies it hit me. Stuffed peppers. Stuffed with everything from the box. It would be vegan so she could eat it with me and it would make good use of the Farm Box.
I thought about going the traditional Southern route but the fresh mint inspired me to pull out my Persian cookbook and see if I could modify a recipe for stuffed peppers (or dolmeh) to make it vegan. The main thing that makes it taste Persian to me is the combo of spices and the ever present combination of sour, salty and sweet that is a hallmark of many Persian dishes.
These take a while to cook but they are well worth the wait.
Adapted from New Food for Life
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 bunch of latticino kale, rib removed and finely chopped
- 8 small bell peppers, tops cut off, seeds and membranes removed
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- 1/4 cup yellow split peas
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 cup of finely minced parsley
- 1/3 cup of finely minced mint
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 pinch of saffron
- 1/2 teaspoon advieh (Persian spice mix)
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 cup of canned tomato juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
- Cut cauliflower into chunks, stem included, and put it into the food processor with the chopping blade. Chop until it’s the consistency of couscous.
- Put in a large mixing bowl and add yellow spit peas and green onions.
- In a large saute pan heat 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat and add chopped onions. Let the cook until they are translucent but not brown. Add saffron, advieh, and cinnamon and saute until very fragrant. Add kale, tomato paste and 1/4 cup of water. Cook until kale is soft and wilted.
- Mix in cauliflower mixture and minced herbs. Stir until well combined and heated through.
- Stuff the peppers with the mixture and put them in a baking pan that comes halfway up the pepper.
- Salt the tomato juice to taste and pour it around the peppers. Put the tops back on the peppers, cover them in tin foil and put them in the preheated oven for 1.5 hours or until the peppers are soft to the touch.