Monday, August 17, 2009

Couscous and Feta Stuffed Peppers

The reason I didn't have enough peppers to pickle.

I liked this recipe but I shall share a secret: I don't actually like stuffed peppers. The fillings are definitely good. I always feel like the peppers get dried out, though, and taste somewhat leathery. Half the time I just end up eating all the filling out. But this filling was so delicious, I've made just the filling another half dozen times and eaten it all by itself. If you want to do that, just skip the part about baking the pepper shells and chop one to add to the onion/zucchini mixture.

Eat Rating: Delicious, though better without the outer-pepper shell.
Difficulty: Easy.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup of dry couscous
5 bell peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
1 zucchini, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chickpeas, either canned or soaked overnight then cooked (LN: CCO liked them, but I've omitted them subsequent times)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp fennel seeds (can omit if you don't like the taste of fennel)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and pull out the seeds and membrane. Place the peppers cut side up on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes until softened. Remove from oven and set aside.

While the peppers are baking, in a small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Remove from heat, add the couscous and stir just until combined. Cover and let sit for 10-15 minutes.

If desired, cut the stem out of the middle of the pepper tops and chop the leftover peppers.

In a large saute pan, heat oil then add the onions, zucchini and pepper if using. Saute for about 5-7 minutes until softened. Add the chickpeas, fennel seed and tomato paste. Cook another minute. Remove from heat.

With a fork, fluff the couscous, then add to the vegetable mixture. Stir well, then add the feta cheese and mix until well combined.

Fill the pre-baked peppers with the couscous mixture. Return the peppers to the oven for 5 minutes until cheese has softened. Serve immediately.

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