Stuffed Peppers with Mrs. Kostyra


Brought to us by Martha's mother, Martha Kostyra, this flavorful recipe makes an ideal holiday side dish or entree. Choose firm, plump peppers with a glossy surface, and avoid blemishes or soft spots. For a bit more bite, substitute green peppers for the yellow. Martha made this recipe on Cooking School episode 306.


  • ¼ cup pine nuts

  • 4 small tomatoes, cored, seeded, and sliced ½ inch thick

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • ¾ cup raisins

  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 2 oranges)

  • 6 medium yellow bell peppers, plus 1 yellow pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 cup white rice

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped

  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and stems reserved

  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh chervil, plus 3 sprigs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pine nuts in single layer on a small baking sheet. Bake until golden and aromatic, 8 to 12 minutes. Shake the pan halfway through baking to make sure nuts toast evenly.

  2. Line a baking pan that's just large enough to hold the peppers with the tomato slices. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Combine raisins and orange juice in a small bowl. Let stand until raisins are plumped, about 15 minutes.

  4. Using a sharp knife, cut around the stems of six of the peppers. Core and seed the peppers, reserving the stems. Set aside.

  5. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the rice, and simmer, covered, until rice is just a little undercooked, about 15 minutes.

  6. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and shallots, and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the finely chopped pepper and the plumped raisins. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the thyme leaves, basil, chervil, and pine nuts, stirring to combine. Stir in the cooked rice.

  7. Fill each pepper with one sixth of the rice mixture. Place reserved pepper stems on top of each pepper. Top the tomatoes with the reserved thyme stems. Fit the peppers into the baking dish, and place the chervil sprigs between them. Cover with parchment paper-lined aluminum foil, and bake for 50 minutes. Uncover, and continue to bake until peppers are tender and rice is heated through, about 10 minutes.

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