Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 5 large tomatoes
  • 3 medium sized bell peppers (halved lengthwise, seeded)
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • Dash coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 serrano chili (minced)
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch (12oz) kale (use leaves only- coarsely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (toasted)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut off top of tomato, and save for later. Leave a thick shell, and scoop out the insides of the tomatoes. Place the insides of the tomatoes in a bowl, and discard the remainder.
  2. Toast coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir and swirl pan until spices are fragrant. (Which would take about 2-3 minutes). Transfer spices to a spice grinder, and add red-pepper flakes. Then stir in cinnamon.
  3. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt and Serrano chile. Cook for about 4-6 minutes, until onion is translucent. Stir in the scooped out tomatoes and cook until liquid is evaporated, but not completely (should take about 3 minutes). Stir in the spice mixture and cook for 20-30 seconds.
  4. Add rice to pan and stir. Add 1-1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook until rice is ready ( about 15 minutes). Add kale and cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. Mix currants and orange juice in a bowl. Stir the currants, juice and pine nuts into the rice. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Place the tomato shells from earlier in a baking dish (big enough to not overlap). Fill each tomato with about 1/3 cup rice mixture. Then place the reserved tomato top on top of each filled tomato. Do the same application to the peppers, filling each with about ½ cup rice mixture. Add about 1/2 cup of water to baking dish with peppers.
  7. Cover the tomato and pepper dish with foil. Bake for about 45 minutes, until tomatoes and peppers are tender and filling is thoroughly heated.
  8. Enjoy!