For a more substantial entrée, add a cup of cooked black beans to the rice before filling the peppers. Serve with tomato salsa or a dollop of sour cream on top. The stuffing for these peppers can be served on its own as a flavorful side dish (see photo below).
(serves 4 as a main dish)
- Olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 cup finely chopped onion (or a mix of onion and leek)
- 1 medium anaheim pepper (or other mild pepper), finely chopped
- 1 cup brown rice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 bunch chard or spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 glove garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup chopped cilantro (soft stems included)
- juice of one half lime (if serving rice as a side dish)
- 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- 8 poblano, large anaheim or small bell peppers
- Tomato salsa and/or sour cream for serving
- Heat about one tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan. Add cumin seeds and cook for 20 seconds, then add onion and chopped pepper. Cook until onion is soft and starting to brown. Add rice and stir to coat grains with oil. Cook for 1 minute. Add salt and 2 cups of water to the pan and bring to a boil. Cover pan and reduce heat. Simmer for about 40 minutes, until water has cooked off and rice is tender. Remove from heat and cool.
- Meanwhile warm a bit of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add spinach or chard and garlic and cook until leaves are wilted and soft. You can include the stems of the chard, too — just chop them finely and add to the skillet before you add the leaves. Cook for 3 minutes, then add leaves.
- When rice has cooled, gently fold in the cooked greens and cilantro. Taste and add more salt as needed. If you’re serving the rice as a side dish, squeeze lime over the top and fold in. For stuffing, mix in corn and cheese.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds being careful to keep the peppers intact. Cut the seeds off the tops and reserve the tops. Coat a shallow baking dish with a small amount of oil. Stuff each pepper with several spoonfuls of rice mixture, pressing to get as much rice as possible into each pepper. Place pepper on its side in the baking dish. Repeat for each pepper, then brush each lightly with oil. Place reserved tops on each pepper to close them up and keep the stuffing from drying out during baking.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, until pepper skins are shriveled, blistered and soft. Carefully turn each pepper half-way through cooking. Remove tops before serving, and top with fresh salsa or sour cream.