Baked rice with goat’s cheese stuffed peppers

Credit: ELEANOR STEAFEL

The peppers roast on top of the rice and liquid, inevitably spilling a little of their cheesy filling into the rice as it cooks, seasoning it and making it richer. A handful of fresh herbs like mint and basil makes the finished dish look beautiful and taste of summer. 

Serves 

3-4 

Ingredients 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil + a little extra for drizzling 
  • An onion, cut into wedges 
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed 
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds 
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes 
  • 250ml white wine 
  • 500ml hot chicken stock 
  • 250g risotto rice 
  • 250g soft goat's cheese 
  • A lemon, zest and juice 
  • 3-4 large pointed red peppers 
  • A handful of mint, finely chopped
  • A handful of basil, finely chopped

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. 
  2. Put the olive oil, onion, garlic, fennel and chilli in a cast iron casserole pan with a lid (you could also use a roasting tin and just cover it tightly with foil). Add the wine, the hot stock and rice. Give everything a good stir, put the lid on and put it in the oven for 10 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, mix the goat’s cheese with the lemon zest and juice. Cut a slice down the full length of each pepper, but just down one side. You don’t want to cut the pepper in half, you want to create an opening to be able to stuff the goat’s cheese into the cavity. Stuff the peppers. 
  4. Take the pan out of the oven and lay the peppers on top of the rice, cut side up. Turn the heat up to 220C/gas 7. Put the lid back on and cook for another 20 minutes. 
  5. Take the pan out of the oven again, take the lid off and drizzle the peppers with olive oil. Put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. You want the rice to be cooked through and tender, and the peppers to have slumped and released some of their cheesy stuffing into the baked rice. 
  6. To serve, scatter herbs over the pan and spoon into bowls immediately.