Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Pippa Middleton's Spicy Bean-Stuffed Peppers

Despite all the negative reviews and critism Pippa Middleton has received for her book 'Celebrate' (described as 'a comprehensive seasonal guide to simple and creative entertaining'), when I saw it for sale in my local WHSmith for dirt cheap (around £5 if I remember correctly) I couldn't resist buying myself a copy - mostly out of curiosity.

In the introduction, Pippa writes that the book was designed to be a 'useful and practical journey into British-themed occasions and I hope it offers welcome inspiration and ideas', and actually I have been inspired by some of the ideas outlined in the book.  While I'll admit that a great chunk of the book is aimed at ideas for feeding and entertaining children (which is pretty irrelevant to me at this time of my life), many of the food and cocktail recipes have tempted me and I now feel motivated to do some entertaining this year! In fact, I'm currently in the process of planning an afternoon tea party for a friend's birthday using some of the ideas Pippa provides - including making mini fruit tarts, traditional scones and homemade cake stands!

But for now I want to tell you about a recipe I made last week. Admittedly, it's actually from the Autumn section of the book as an idea for food on Bonfire Night, but I don't care as I would eat this meal at any time of year!  The recipe is for stuffed peppers, filled with spicy beans. I'm trying to cut down on the amount of meat I eat, and this appealed to me as a great idea for a vegetarian meal for myself. I made this for my family for lunch - we had 2 pepper halves each and that was just the right portion size for me.

Recipe - Spicy Bean-Stuffed Peppers by Pippa Middleton
Serves 4 (or 8 as a side dish - one pepper half each)


4 large peppers (I used 2 red peppers, 1 orange pepper and 1 yellow pepper) 
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp tomato purée 
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 tin of red kidney beans in chilli sauce (or in water if you're not so keen on spicy food!)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
small handful of chopped coriander
1 fresh red chilli, halved, deseeded & chopped (I didn't use this and it wasn't really missed!) 
salt & pepper to taste
50g Parmesan, grated (or swap for a vegetarian-friendly cheese if preferred)

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • Cut the peppers lengthways, remove the seeds & membrane.
  • Place peppers in a roasting tin, drizzle with a little olive oil and roast for 10-15 minutes.
  • Whilst the peppers are in the oven make the filling - Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the chopped onions, garlic and cumin and cook until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the tomato purée, carrots and celery and fry for 2 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients (except the parmesan) and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the juices have reduced.
  • Remove the peppers from the oven and fill each with the bean mixture. Cover them with foil and then pop them back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
  • Before serving sprinkle over some Parmesan (or other cheese).
  • I served my peppers with a pot of sour cream which went down well with the family!

   Et voilà...
Lisa x 

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