Try this lovely Egyptian version of a staple on Middle-Eastern tables.
Stuffed vegetables are a staple on Middle-Eastern tables. This is a version used for peppers but may go just as well with grape leaves, zucchini, aubergines, tomatoes. The stuffing (mahshi) can be with ground meat or vegetarian.
6 medium-sized green peppers
1 ¼ cup olive oil
4 large onions, minced
1 cup pine nuts
1 ½ cups ground beef or lamb - optional
2 ½ cups (450 gr) long-grain rice
¾ cup raisins
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp. sugar
½ cup mint
2 tsp lemon juice
6 tomato slices
½ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Wash the peppers and remove the stems. Core them with an apple corer or paring knife.
Heat ½ cup olive oil, add the minced onions and sauté over medium heat until translucent.
Add the rice and pine nuts (and/or ground meat) and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
Add the raisins, salt and pepper. Cover the mixture with water (about twice the depth of the other ingredients in the pot) and simmer until the water is absorbed.
Add the mint and lemon juice. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Once the stuffing has cooled, stuff each pepper loosely—the rice will swell during cooking.
Cover the open end of each pepper with a tomato slice, and set the peppers in a single layer in a large pan.
Sprinkle with salt, drizzle with the rest of the olive oil, and pour about 1 cup of water over them.
Simmer very slowly until peppers are just tender.
Remove peppers from pan, and garnish with parsley and lemon slices.