Turkish Stuffed Peppers | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Turkish Stuffed Peppers

This sukkot, try these as a way to give thanks for a bountiful harvest.
Turkish Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers. Courtesy of Ronnie Fein

Makes 8 servings

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Sukkot, falling when it does in the year, is a kind of Jewish Thanksgiving. On both holidays we eat, and are grateful for, the bountiful produce of a recent harvest. Unlike Thanksgiving, with its turkey and cranberry sauce and such, there is no one specific dish or recipe for Sukkot. But there is a generalized notion of eating stuffed foods as a symbolic way to give thanks for all our edible earthly blessings. We are, literally, stuffed.

Stuffed cabbage is a classic Sukkot dish, but my grandma used to make stuffed peppers, sometimes with meat, sometimes just vegetables and always with white rice. Why not try that this year? My grandmother’s recipe was similar to these Turkish Stuffed Peppers, which look festive enough for an important holiday such as Sukkot. They are also easy to transport to a sukkah. Another bonus — they’re delicious hot from the oven or at room temperature.

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8 multicolored bell peppers

2 tbsp. currants or raisins

1/4 cup olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

2 tbsp. pine nuts

1 cup white rice (not converted)

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 large tomato, chopped

2 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. ground allspice

1/4 tsp. ground coriander

1-3/4 cups vegetable stock

2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley

2 tbsp. minced fresh dill

2 tsp. minced fresh mint

2 tbsp. lemon juice


Place the peppers in a deep bowl and pour boiling water over them. Weight them down to keep them under the water. Let rest for 5 minutes. Drain and repeat the process with cold water. Cut a lid from the top of the peppers, but reserve the lids. Scoop out and discard the seeds and membranes. Set aside. Place the currants in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let rest for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and pignoli nuts and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until the onion has softened. Add the rice and currants and some salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato, sugar, allspice and coriander and cook for another minute, stirring occasionally. Add the stock, bring to a boil, cover the pan and lower the heat. Cook for 18-20 minutes or until the rice is soft and all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the parsley, dill, mint and lemon juice. Let cool. Use to fill the peppers. Place lids on top. (You may prepare to this point and cook later). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the peppers in a deep baking dish. Add 2 cups of water to the dish. Bake the peppers for 40 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving (at room temperature or slightly chilled).

Ronnie Fein is a cookbook author, food writer and cooking teacher in Stamford, Conn. She is the author of “The Modern Kosher Kitchen” and “Hip Kosher.” Visit her food blog, Kitchen Vignettes, at www.ronniefein.com, friend on Facebook at RonnieVailFein, Twitter at @RonnieVFein, Instagram at @RonnieVFein.