The market is flooded with color (who needed Holi and its painful issues with water and chemical color?). There are greens in a zillion shades, cooling the eye in the infernal heat, and there are these bright yellows and reds that can pick your mood. Just the sight of a vegetable cart filled to the brim with happy, fresh vegetables makes me think the world is a nice place, after all.
A few weeks ago, I spotted these pretty baby peppers, red chilies and tomatoes with their crown on (still rare, where we live) and I jumped for joy. Bought them immediately and put them to use the very next day. I had a batch of freshly sundried cherry tomatoes, and with a bit of couscous, it made for a lovely, light and flavorful summer lunch. Try it as a main or side with some roast meat. For a gluten-free version, use samo seeds or vari instead of couscous. Also replace sundried tomatoes with bacon, chorizo, or leftover roast chicken or veggies of choice. The couscous also makes an excellent bed for grilled or braised lamp chops, by the way!
Here’s a quick recipe:
Sundried Tomato Couscous Stuffed Baby Peppers
- 6 baby bell peppers (or 3 medium-sized peppers)
- 1/2 cup couscous
- a small handful sundried tomatoes, chopped (I used my sundried cherry tomatoes)
- a small handful of flat leaf parsley
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 tbsp.+ 1/2 tsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
- Salt to taste
- 3/4 cup Vegetable stock or water
- Cut off the tops of the peppers and using a paring knife or sharp spoon, scoop out the seeds. Save the tops!
- Brush the 1/2 tsp. of olive oil on the peppers and roast in a preheated oven at 18- degrees centigrade for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the couscous. Heat the 1 tbsp. oil in a pan and add garlic and the shallot. Saute briefly, until fragrant.
- Tip in the sundried tomatoes and couscous. Add the chili flakes and salt. Saute for a minute. Now, add the stock or water and cook covered until cooked through. Stir in the parsley and keep warm.
- When the peppers are cool enough to handle, fill them with the couscous, pressing down so they hold shape.
- Arrange in a greased baking dish. Cover with the tops and return to the oven. Roast for another 15 minutes until the skin of the peppers is blistered and the juices are slightly caramelized.
- Serve hot!