We like to endorse a little thing around here called Meatless Mondays and we make dishes so great you won’t even miss the meat. Seriously.
The most recent meal we gobbled right up were these beautiful stuffed peppers which made me more nostalgic on the time I spent living in Turkey where stuffed vegetables (dolma) are one of the regular foods my host mom made and I would chow down on multiple times a week. If it is a vegetable that can be hollowed out, you better believe you can find a stuffed version of it.
This recipe came to us from one of my dad’s colleagues and I am certainly glad it did.
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
3/4 cup couscous (I used Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend)
1 cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup dried currants cranberries
1 packed cup chopped baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3-4 medium bell peppers, your choice on color, but recommend red, yellow or orange
Hot water, as needed
Pesto (homemade or store bought – whatever you have on hand) – a dollop used on each pepper when they come out of the oven – not necessary but adds another flavor dimension
Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Filling: In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the couscous (may need to add a bit of olive oil to keep the grains from sticking to the pot). Cover the pan until the couscous/harvest grains blend is tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 to 6 minutes. Put the couscous in a large bowl and add the beans, currants, spinach, feta and 1/4 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir until all the ingredients are combined.
Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all the ribs and seeds. If necessary, cut a very thin slice from the base to help the peppers stand up. Stuff the peppers with the filling and drizzle the tops with olive oil. Put the peppers in an 8 by 8-inch square baking dish. Fill the baking dish with 3/4-inch hot water and bake until the filling is golden and the peppers are cooked – if you want a crunch to your pepper about 35/40 minutes or if you want them more on the soft side 55/60 minutes. Cooks Note: If the filling begins to brown too quickly, cover the pan with foil.)
Remove the peppers from the oven and arrange on serving plates. Spoon the pesto onto the peppers