I must admit that I wasn’t been the biggest fan of capsicum growing up. Actually, it was the only vegetable that I really didn’t like! I don’t know why, just the flavour was always unpleasant to me. I think I ended up passing that to my younger brother and sister as they don’t like it either.
As I got older (and hopefully wiser 😉 ), my tastebuds evolved and now the taste of capsicum isn’t so bad. It does however depend on how it’s prepared and which kind. I quite like the banana variety and the red ones seem to be sweeter than the green and yellow (maybe just my personal opinion?) but stuffing them seems to be my favourite way to prepare them.
Growing up in a vegetarian household we ate a lot of vegetables, and capsicums were my dad’s favourite. He would eat them raw no top with a nice thick piece of italian bread, with some butter and raw garlic. In addition, the chargrilled variety that you can buy in a glass jar in oil, were also some of his favourites.
I grew up in a house that what you get on your plate, you must eat. I wasn’t always the happiest child when there was capsicum on my plate. I had a habit of leaving things that I didn’t like till last – and then I’d have to go through that dreaded process of eating it and having the aftertaste linger around. Looking back now I would eat it first so you get that out of the way so I could enjoy the rest of the meal. When I figured this out, I thought to myself, “that’s an interesting test of character!” The people that would eat the capsicum first are the type that would probably deal with the harder things at the beginning of the day and enjoy the rest of it knowing that it’s done.
This dish has so many different variations but I personally really like it with buckwheat because the flavours work really well together. Plus, it’s so easy to make. Alternatively you can use rice, quinoa, or another grain of your choice. Just make sure if you’re using a grain that doesn’t have much flavour on its own as you can always add herbs, spices or vegetables to add depth.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 brown onions (around 300g), diced
- 1.5 cups roasted buckwheat (to roast place on frying pan for around 3-5 minutes until it starts browning and it releases flavours, make sure you are stirring it to disperse the heat equally)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Chilli powder to taste
- 1 handful parsley, chopped
- 4 red capsicums (1 kilo), use ones that are similar size to help with cooking
- 1 tbs cooking oil (I used brown rice bran oil)
- 1 litre vegetable stock (I have a jar of wet stock in the fridge that I made and dilute it with boiling water)
- 1 can of tomatoes (400 g)
- Heat the oil in a small saucepan on low and add the onion. Saute for around 10 minutes until the onion starts to brown and caramelise.
- Add the roasted buckwheat, garlic, salt, chilli and parsley and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Chop the capsicums just far enough down to keep the centre attached to the top. This will create a nice lid for the capsicum to help cook the buckwheat mixture inside. Once cut, clean the inside of any seeds and wash out.
- Stuff the capsicums with just enough mixture to fill 3/4 of the capsicum. Put the lid on top.
- Take a saucepan that will fit all 4 capsicums inside but that it will be a firm fit. They need each other for support to stay upright. Add the oil in the pan and place the capsicums side by side.
- Add the stock just enough to cover the capsicums and with a spoon, add about 2-3 tablespoons of the liquid into each capsicum and place the lid back on top.
- On a medium heat cook for 10 minutes. Partially cover with lid.
- Add the can of tomatoes, adding about 1-2 tbs of it into each capsicum and cook for a further 10 minutes. Partially cover with lid.
- You will know that it’s finished when the buckwheat is cooked.
- It’s great on its own or serve with some bread or mashed potatoes.