Albania: Stuffed Peppers & Tomato and Cucumber Salad

albania

Last night I traveled to Albania to have a taste of their cuisine. Albanian cuisine is Mediterranean and is influenced by the flavours of Greek, Italian, and Turkish cuisine. I was extremely looking forward to making something from Albania because I love Mediterranean food, particularly Greek food. Being a fertile area with a variety of vegetables grown there, my two dishes were mainly vegetable dishes. No meat for Jamie last night. He survived though.

A common appetizer or vegetable dish in Albania is a stuffed pepper. Usually stuffed with rice and an array of vegetables (and sometimes meat). I opted out of the meat last night though and made peppers stuffed with rice, tomatoes, onions, and delicious Mediterranean spices.

I decided to get a little crazy last night and make two dishes (mostly because every option looked so good and I couldn’t choose just one). So for my second dish I made a tomato and cucumber salad. But there was more in it than just that. There were tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green peppers, olive oil, and feta cheese. The recipe also called for olives, but I opted out of those because neither Jamie nor I like olives. This salad was absolutely AMAZING! I woke up this morning looking forward to getting to eat the leftover salad for lunch. It’s a new favourite of mine.

I could go on and on for a while about how amazing each of these dishes were (particularly the salad), but I’ve got a lot of homework to get through today, so I’m going to keep this short… so here are the recipes.

ImageStuffed Peppers

4 peppers

2 tomatoes

4 onions

2 cups rice (raw)

1/2 cup oil

4 cups water

salt, parsley, oregano, paprika

Saute onions in oil and a small amount of water until tender. Add remaining water, rice and seasonings. Boil this mixture until rice is parcooked.

Clean peppers and scoop out pulp of tomatoes. Add tomato pulp to rice mixture. Fill peppers and tomatoes; spread remaining rice mixture in a 9×13 inch pan adding an additional 2 cups of warm water. Place peppers and tomatoes on top of mixture and bake at 350° for 30 to 45 minutes.

Turn peppers once.

Recipe courtesy of: http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/1501630-Stuffed-Peppers?full_recipe=true

Image

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

2 -3 Tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, sliced and quartered
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, diced
1/8 cup olive oil
1/2 cup feta cheese
Combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and peppers in a mixing bowl and toss.
Drizzle the olive oil over the salad and season with salt to taste. Garnish with olives and cheese.
All together, it was an amazing, vegetable packed meal. Image
Next stop on this journey cooking my way around the world is Algeria. And in case you missed the last country, check out my adventure in Afghanistan here.
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