1. Wash the veggies including the tomatoes, the peppers and the fresh herbs.
2. Set a deeper frying pan on medium heat, add the finely chopped onion with a 100 ml water. Cook for 5 min with 1/2 tsp salt.
3. Add the grated carrot, courgette and parsnip along with 1/2 the dry or fresh thyme. If you use the fresh one chop very finely. Cook all covered for 5 min.
4. Add the rice and cook for a further 3 min.
5. Add the chopped tomato can mix all very well and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
6. Turn the heat off and set aside. This mixture has to be cool when combined with the meat so prepare slightly in advance.
7. Meanwhile prepare the peppers by either cutting the tops about 3/4 cm (7-8 mm) or just remove the core by carefully pressing down around the woody/green bit and pulling it out. This can be more difficult if you haven't done it before. This is how my mum is doing it and this is how I've always done it but only recently I have tried with cutting its top and keep as cover, it is easier and a lot quicker I have to say. Do the same with the tomatoes and scoop the inside flesh with a help of a spoon. I chop the tomato flesh and use in the sauce. I will mention this later when needed to be used exactly.
8. Finely chop the herbs. Keep aside 2-3 springs of parsley, 1 of thyme, the bay leaves and 1-2 springs of dill.
9. In a larger bowl place the mince meats. Freshly grind some pepper (be generous), add 1 tsp salt, the chopped herbs and the vegetable mixture when it is totally cooled. If you add it hot, it spoils the meat.
10. With the help of a nice wooden spoon/fork or your hand, give the meat and veggies a good old mix until all meat lumps dispersed and totally disappeared into the veg mixture.
11. Fill the peppers with the mixture and place them in the cooking dish by adding their tops once filled. Put their hats on. ?? arrange/ squeeze them all nicely at the bottom of the pot and if needed go for staking them up on a second layer. Put both peppers and tomatoes together. For the oven cooking I use a nice big cast iron casserole dish, a 6l so it all fits in well. I nowadays use a 6l stainless steel pressure cooker which is absolutely brilliant. It cuts the cooking time to a quarter of the oven. I ?? it!
12. In a larger bowl, put the other chopped tomatoes tin, herbs, bay leaves 1 tsp salt pepper and another can of water. Mix and pour over the stuffed peppers.
13. Cook it for a 30 minute duration (programmed in the pressure cooker settings) or for about 2.5 hrs in the oven.
14. Serve hot with a nice dollop of crème fraiche and a few spoons of the juice from the cooking.
I also have a bumper crop of kale, and a whole lot of fresh basil out there too, so these tomatoes are stuffed with a quinoa, basil, garlic and kale mixture, then topped with parmesan cheese and baked in the oven