With the weather much nicer last week, I thought it would be nice to eat some lighter food. I went looking around FoodNetwork.com and came across Giada De Laurentiis’ Couscous-Stuffed Peppers With Basil Sauce. It was a great decision. I only went with a very few changes because I wanted to make sure I got it right. Instead of normal couscous, I used the Israeli variety which I’d never worked with before. I think I might have also used vegetable broth instead of chicken, but it’s been a few days and I can’t tell from the shot I took measuring it out. Ah well, not a big deal.
I first set the oven to 400, got the couscous going, boiling the broth with cumin and then adding in the couscous. I wasn’t really sure how that that was going, so I wound up letting it cook longer than normal with results I wound up liking. Anyway, while that went on, I threw together the sauce (whose ingredients aren’t pictured) and then got the filling ready which was pretty simple. Once the couscous was done I added that in with the rest of the filling. At some point, I cut the tops off the peppers and then cleaned them out.
With everything ready, I put the peppers in a baking dish, added the water to the bottom and then distributed the filling amongst the edible containers. That went into the oven for almost an hour and dinner was served! By cooking the couscous longer, some of it got a little burnt and it actually tasted really great. It reminded me of an episode of No Reservations I saw where Tony was in a Middle Eastern country (I think) and one of the guys he was talking to cooked in a giant pot and said that burning parts of the food is actually important to their cooking process. That seemed to really benefit this meal and made an interesting counterpart to the feta and spinach.
I’ve made traditional stuffed peppers with ground beef, but I actually think this recipe might be more prominent in the rotation!