IRONCLAD PEPPERS STUFFED WITH CAULIFLOWER RICE, FETA AND SALAVGNO OLIVES. (KETO)

For Arani Cuthbert. Veteran Vegetarian. 

I created this dish from the sidelines after promising to cook my vegetarian the yummiest stuffed peppers she’d ever tasted in her entire life. It was late. I was on deadline. As was she. Hangry was hanging heavy in the air. But she was hangrier than me. Miraculously she followed my verbal instructions to the tee - minus a short debate about rice vs cauliflower rice - and created this most sumptuous, sweet and savoury delight. In under 15 minutes of prep time, she’d banged it in the oven and as we nibbled on the rest of the packet of cashew nuts - happy fast replaced hanger.

The star of the dish is the small, sweet and salty Salvagno Olives. They explode deliciousness in your mouth and are well worth the trip to Sabato online or in store. AND if you’ve never made a 30 second tomato sauce in a nutribullet I encourage you to start now!

Much literature would suggest that tomatoes and cast iron pans are no match made in heaven. I discount this. If you have a well seasoned pan this dish can be made hours in advance and reheated with no risk to your pans seasoning. However if you’re making this dish in a new Ironclad Pan, then I suggest you line it with tin foil or baking paper first, knowing that one day soon you’ll be able to ditch this step and fearlessly pour that tomato sauce into your pan. And if there are leftovers don’t store them in the pan in the fridge.

THE STUFFING

4 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T of the Salvango Olive oil  (or 4 T oil all together)
Half medium cauliflower riced*
Zest of two lemons
1 t dried oregano
4 T pitted Salvagno Olives
½ block goats cheese feta crumbled in chunks (approx. 100 g)

METHOD

On a high heat sauté garlic, bay leaves and olive oil for 30 seconds in your Ironclad Pan, till the garlic starts to brown.

Add cauliflower rice, lemon zest and oregano. Then fry fast and hot until the cauliflower browns up. Remove from the pan and leave to cool down a little as you make the sauce and prepare the peppers.

AND. Don’t clean the pan.

THE SAUCE

300 g fresh tomatoes cut in half
4 garlic cloves whole
1 dry or fresh bay leaf
¼ c olive oil
Salt to taste
1 t coconut sugar
1 heaped t smoked paprika

THE PEPPERS  

6 long sweet peppers (you might fit 8 in the pan if they are smaller.)

TOPPINGS

½ c roasted salted cashew nuts roughly chopped
1 c grated mozzarella

THEN...

Put all sauce ingredients in the nutribullet and pulse on high for 30 seconds until smoothly blended. It should be thick and glossy, and the bay leaf should be thoroughly blended through the sauce.

Slice peppers in half lengthwise and remove any seeds.

Heat oven to 180°C.

Pour three quarters of the tomato sauce mix into the bottom of your Ironclad Pan and arrange the peppers cut side open on top.

Fold the olives and remaining tomato sauce into the cauliflower rice mix  and taste for seasoning, remembering that the feta will also add to the salty.

Spoon the filling evenly into the peppers. Lastly sprinkle with the crumbled feta.

Bake for 30 minutes till the peppers are soft and the sauce is bubbling.

Remove pan from oven, sprinkle firstly with cashew nuts and then with the mozzarella cheese and grill for a few minutes  until cheese is golden.

Serve with a fresh watercress salad. Its peppery crispness is the perfect match.

And hanger be gone.

 

*cauliflower rice
Cut the cauliflowerinto chunks, including the cores.
Place into a food processor.
Pulse until the cauliflower resembles the texture of rice. Be careful not to over-process or it'll get mushy. If you don't have a food processor, you can grate the cauliflower with a box grater.

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