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Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

Now that the first of the peppers is here, it’s a great excuse to taste them in all their firm, fragrant glory.  This recipe uses up plenty of leftovers from the fridge to make a visually stunning and satisfying, healthy meal.

About 250g cold cooked chicken, diced
8 evenly-sized peppers
1 onion, diced
1 courgette, diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
8 fresh bay leaves
300g cooked rice
50g pine nuts, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Half a packet of feta cheese ,cut into 8 cubes

1) Preheat your oven to 200 centigrade, 180 fan.  About 1cm from the top of each pepper, cut round the stalk and twist off a lid, then cut away the seeds.  Replace the lids and place in an oven-proof dish which holds them fairly snugly

2) In a frying pan, heat the oil and fry the onion and courgette over a medium heat until softened.  Add the garlic and chicken, stir fry for a minute or so.

3) In a large bowl, combine the rice, thyme, parsley, tomato puree, pine nuts and the contents of the frying pan.  Give this a really good stir.
Half fill each pepper with the mixture.  Place a cube of feta on top then spoon in more filling, patting down fairly firmly.  Place a bay leaf on top of each and replace the lids.  Drizzle with a little more extra virgin olive oil, then pour 150ml water around the base of the peppers.  Cook these, uncovered, in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes until the peppers are beginning to char at the edges.

4) This needs no more than some good bread or a salad to accompany it.  The leftover feta is perfect for a Greek salad or simple filo pastry tart.

By Tiffany Nestour

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