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Sukkot Stuffed Peppers

Shanah Tovah everyone! Right on the heels of fasting on Yom Kippur comes the time of plenty (and plenty of eating) on Sukkot.

Sukkot is a harvest festival and represents both the wish for a bountiful harvest and riches and the acknowledgment that life is a frail, transient thing that we can not be too comfortable with. While this is something we grapple with all year long, we almost never do so as openly as at this time of year.

Stuffed foods are traditional for Sukkot, and represent a time of plenty. This immediately made me want to tackle a stuffed pepper situation. Stuffed peppers are great because it allows you to basically put together all your favorite vegetables in unusually fancy packaging.

These peppers are vegan, which is great if you want to serve them with a meat meal, and simple to put together. There’s protein in the chickpeas, and if you’re not vegan or eating a meat meal, you can add some cheese to the top. They are also easily transportable from kitchen to Sukkah! Serves 6.

Ingredients:

6 bell peppers (any color)
1 large eggplant
1 large sweet potato
16 oz chickpeas
1 red pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 cup brown basmati rice or pearl couscous
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

Depending on your preferred coping method, either put on a chatty podcast or a mindless sitcom.

Preheat the oven to 375°.

First, slice the tops off your bell pepper and pull out the membranes and the seeds from the inside. Brush the sides with olive oil.

Some people prefer to boil their peppers before baking, but I like my peppers to still have some crunch to them. Plus, they are easy to fill when raw.

Make your rice! Start by toasting rice in olive oil for 2-3 minutes until browned. Don’t let it sit for too long without stirring because you will accidentally ruin a pot.

If making couscous, skip previous step.

Follow the instructions on the box/bag, swapping in low sodium vegetable broth for half the water (if you want to get fancy) and cook. Both the rice and the couscous should have absorbed all the water, so no need for a colander.

When done cooking rice, turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes, then remove lid and fluff with a fork, before replacing lid and letting it sit for another 5-10 minutes.

Wash eggplant and slice into ½ inch pieces.

Scrub sweet potato and cut into similarly small pieces. It’s my preference to leave the peel on, but you can peel accordingly!

Chop red onions into ½ inch pieces.

Drain and rinse canned chickpeas.

Mince garlic as small as you can until you get bored of mincing garlic.

Do the same with the basil.

Final Stuffed Pepper Photo
Full image
Peppers stuffed with eggplant and rice for Sukkot. Image courtesy of Lisa Yelsey.

There is no need to pre-cook any of these since they will be cooking inside of the peppers in the oven! Mix together eggplant, sweet potato, onion, chickpeas, garlic, basil, and rice (or couscous). Add in salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.

Scoop ½ cup into each open pepper, or until the pepper is about ¾ full.

On an aluminum foil lined pan, bake filled peppers for 25-30 minutes. Check to make sure they aren’t browning too much or burning on the edges. If they start to burn, cover the peppers with foil! Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the pepper is slightly browned and soft, and a fork can easily pierce any of the vegetables if you scoop one out.

And there you have it! Serve the peppers for Sukkah dinners, Shabbat meals, lunches, any time you want. I myself am hoping to serve these at some Central Park park picnics for lunch!

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Final Stuffed Pepper Photo
Full image
Peppers stuffed with eggplant and rice for Sukkot. Image courtesy of Lisa Yelsey.
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How to cite this page

Yelsey , Lisa . "Sukkot Stuffed Peppers." 4 October 2017. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on December 12, 2017) <https://jwa.org/blog/sukkot-stuffed-peppers>.

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