Enzo’s Yemista (Stuffed Capsicum)
This a my version of yemista (stuffed peppers). I grew up in Canberra and had many close Greek friends. Whenever I visited them at home, their mothers would always have some home-cooked delights, and I always used to get stuck into the meals. One of my favourite meals was stuffed peppers (aka stuffed capsicum), and I have recreated it here with my twist on the original recipe.
These can be served hot or cold with a Greek salad. If you want to make it vegetarian, just leave the pancetta out.
4 red capsicum
4 cups of fresh breadcrumbs, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Greek fetta
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1) Preheat an oven to 180C. Cut the top of the capsicum just enough to remove the seeds from inside. Pour equal amounts of red wine vinegar into each capsicum and swish around to coat the inside.
2) Meanwhile, as the capsicum sit marinating, cook the onions in a little olive oil over medium-low heat until soft and starting caramelise, then add the garlic and cook for a minute or so. Add the pancetta and cook until starting to crisp, then remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add pancetta to the breadcrumbs and remaining ingredients and mix to combine. It shouldn’t be too runny – if so, add more breadcrumbs.
3) Swish the vinegar once more inside the capsicum and then spoon the stuffing into the capsicum, not compacting it too much, and level it at the top.
4) Heat a frypan until hot, add olive oil and place capsicum with the stuffing side down to seal the peppers. Once browned, lay them skin-side down on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and season with sea salt, and bake for about 25 minutes, turning them as you go every 5 minutes until done.