Moroccan stuffed peppers with couscous(Read article summary)
Serve these stuffed peppers as a side dish with shish kebabs or a vegetarian main course.
A Palatable Pastime
This recipe is for Moroccan stuffed peppers was inspired by a similar one in Cooking Light that uses chutney. I have opted to forgo that and instead add in some shallots, a few different seasonings, and pine nuts, which I love. You can see the original recipe here.
I like that stuffed peppers can either serve as a side dish for a meal that might include something like shish kebabs or koftas, or they be a vegetarian main dish if you have 2 halves for your entree. They are very satisfying.
Moroccan stuffed peppers with couscous
3 large red bell peppers
1 cup chicken broth *optional may use vegetable broth for a vegetarian option
1 generous pinch saffron
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup uncooked whole wheat couscous
2 scallions, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh jalapeno or Serrano pepper
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pitted kalamata olives
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1. Cut peppers in half and remove seeds and membranes. Place peppers in a microwave safe dish, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Place peppers cut side up in a baking dish and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat chicken (or vegetable) broth to very hot and stir in the saffron, raisins, coriander, cumin, and tomato paste. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes or so.
3. Heat a nonstick skillet and toast pine nuts until golden, then set aside to cool. Heat olive oil in the same skillet and add onions and garlic, saute until the onions are golden and starting to caramelize. Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, scallions, chopped jalapeno and olives; season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat; cover and allow to sit for five minutes to absorb broth.
4. Remove lid and fluff couscous with a fork, then spoon into the cavities of the halved peppers. Top with crumbled feta cheese. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 375 degrees F., for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake uncovered for 15 minutes more or until feta is lightly browned.
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