Couscous Stuffed Red Peppers
BellaFina™ peppers may be used to create a wide variety of recipes, from appetizers to main dishes. BellaFina™ peppers are often used in salads, vegetables trays with or without dip, cooked in stews and sauces and stuffed with meat, cheese and grains.
6 Bella Fina bell peppers, halved, remove seeds and ribbing
3/4 cup Israeli couscous (pre-cooked), or use quinoa or any grain you have
3 scallions, white and green parts, sliced
ground sweet paprika, 1/2 teaspoon
1 garlic clove, minced (save half for the yogurt sauce below)
1 lemon, zest and juice (half goes in the yogurt sauce below)
mint, handful chopped, (reserve some for yogurt sauce)
cilantro, big handful chopped, (reserve some for yogurt sauce)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted, chopped
2 big handfuls of wilt-able baby greens (I had baby kale)
1/4 cup dried currants
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt, pepper, to taste
For yogurt sauce:
1 individual sized container yogurt (about 1/2 cup)
remainder of 1/2 clove minced garlic from above
remaining 1/2 lemon juice and zest from above
pinch of paprika
chopped herbs, reserved from above
salt, pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350.
Prep all ingredients, mix yogurt sauce together and set aside in the fridge until ready to serve.
Place peppers cut side open on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt, bake for 10 minutes or until they begin to soften.
Cook couscous in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente (about 8-10 minutes). When it’s finished, drain and set aside. Toss it in a bit of olive oil so the little pearls don’t stick together.
In a large skillet over medium heat, pour a few splashes of olive oil, toss in scallions, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir a bit, then add lemon zest and kale. Stir some more, let kale wilt down a bit. Add a big squeeze of lemon juice, stir in herbs, toasted pine nuts, currants and red pepper flakes. Add the couscous. Mix together until herbs and greens are just wilted and everything is combined. Taste and adjust seasonings. (If it’s a bit too bold and spicy at this point, that’s ok – once you bake it with the sweet peppers, the flavors will dial down).
Fill the peppers. If all of the filling doesn’t fit, it’s ok, just set the remainder aside and scoop it on top at the end.
Bake, uncovered, for about 10 -12 minutes. Alternatively, if you like your peppers much softer, cover them with foil and bake longer. I prefer my cooked peppers to still have a little bite. (also, I pre-baked the peppers so the herbs in the filling wouldn’t burn – I find, unless you cover your stuffed peppers with a layer cheese, these grain fillings become a bit dry if cooked the entire way with the peppers).
Remove peppers from oven. Spoon on any of the remaining couscous mixture. Top with the yogurt sauce, and any extra herbs.
The sauce is also delicious on some whole grain toasted baguette, which I served with our meal.