Moroccan Couscous-Stuffed Peppers
The stuffing mixture for these tasty baked peppers is a combination of couscous, raisins, Moroccan-inspired herbs and spices, and toasted slivered almonds. The almonds add a nutty flavor and a lovely contrasting crunch to the soft peppers and fluffy couscous.
The peppers can easily be stuffed in advance — they’ll sit happily in the fridge for a good few hours or even overnight, allowing all the flavors to mingle, until you’re ready to cook. Just bring them out to come to room temperature while you’re preheating the oven. They’re a great make-ahead dish for dinner parties, family get-togethers, and holiday meals, or when you’re feeding a crowd (just double or triple the recipe).
They can be served hot, straight from the oven, or eaten at room temperature, making them perfect for picnics, barbecues, and al fresco dining. The stuffed peppers can either be served individually as an appetizer, as part of a selection of other dishes meze-style, or as a side dish to accompany fish, seafood, or chicken (which is how we usually enjoy them).
You can choose to use either red, orange or yellow peppers (or a mix of all three colors, which looks especially appetizing). Toasted pistachios or pine nuts can be added instead of almonds, and chopped dried apricots or dates make delicious alternatives to raisins.
1 cup quick-cooking couscous
⅓ cup raisins
1¼ cups boiling chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus 4 teaspoons extra for drizzling
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic — minced
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1½ teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ red onion — finely diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley