Giant couscous stuffed peppers with basil

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I had been looking around for giant couscous recipes for ages, but hadn’t found many that appealed.  Most of the recipes were salads, and I’m not a huge fan of salad to be honest (WHAT? A vegan who doesn’t like salad?  Burn the witch!!).

First endeavour into giant couscous and not only was it a success, it’s now going to be on high rotation on the Restaurant of Jen menu.

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Stuffed peppers are always a good shout if you want something that looks great and smells awesome when it’s cooking in the oven, and the added basil couscous is a winner.  You can sub normal couscous if you like, but I reckon this would be much tastier.

Ingredients

2 TBsp olive oil

1/2 cup giant wholewheat couscous (you can sub with normal couscous or non-wholewheat)

1 cloves of garlic, crushed

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup vegan Parmesan (I used Jezzano, bought from VX in Kings Cross)

2 sweet peppers (orange and yellow work well)

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 175C/350F.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the couscous and stir until fragrant (about 2 minutes – keep stirring though!).

Add one cup of water and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until the couscous is tender.  Drain and add salt to taste.

While your couscous is cooking, be a multitasking hero and prepare the basil dressing.

Add the crushed garlic, basil, remaining oil and pine nuts to your blender.

Pulse/blend until all ingredients are combined and a relatively smooth dressing is achieved.  Scrape down the sides of the blender regularly to ensure it is all mixed well.

Don’t worry if your pine nuts aren’t playing along – having a few chunky nutty bits will still taste awesome!  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the basil mix to a small bowl and add the parmesan.  Stir to combine.

When your couscous is done, add the pesto dressing and stir to combine.

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Mmmm, pesto couscous…

Cut your peppers in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and white parts.  You can leave the stalk on if you want (just don’t eat it…).

Fill the peppers with the basil couscous mix and arrange on an oiled casserole dish.  Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the peppers are cooked but still firm enough to stand.

Serve with salad (or not salad!), rice or anything else that takes your fancy.

 

Makes 4 halves stuffed peppers (enough for two people), plus some leftover couscous

Time to make – 20 minutes for couscous and basil (make at the same time), 5 minutes to assemble and 45 minutes to bake = 1 hour 10 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 3. There are three parts to this recipe, plus a lot of dishes at the end of it!

#nowplaying Radiohead – Burn The Witch

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