I’ve been searching for a flavorful stuffed pepper recipe for a while – one that avoids bland, mushy fillings. This is it – the israeli couscous adds texture, while the fennel adds a unique spicing. Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
- 2/3 c Israeli couscous
- 6 large bell peppers, mixed colors
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise then sliced thinly
- 1/2 t fennel seeds
- 1/2 t dried oregano
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 c cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
- 1 c feta, crumbled
- 3 T tomato puree/paste
- 1/3 c pine nuts, toasted
- olive oil for cooking
- optional: 1/4 c black olives, quartered
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C, and coat a small baking dish with cooking spray.
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add a dash of olive oil and salt, and cook Israeli couscous for approximately 8 minutes, or according to instructions on packaging. When al dente, drain and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and prepare peppers: cut stems and top 1/2″ of red peppers, clean inside by scooping out seed and membranes.
- Boil trimmed peppers for 5 minutes, then drain and set to dry upside down.
- Heat a splash of oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat, add onions, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add zucchini, fennel seeds, oregano, and salt, and cook for about 5 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
- Remove from heat, and stir in tomatoes, chickpeas, tomato paste, feta, pine nuts, and olives (if using) – then add the couscous, and mix gently to combine.
- Place peppers upright in baking dish (if they fall over, crumble up foil to keep them in place), and ladle couscous mixture into peppers.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, or until peppers look heated through and slightly browned on top.