Vegetables don’t have to be just sitting on the side of the dish, why not turn the vegetabled into a bowl! Soft baked red peppers are the perfect container to fill with a nutty couscous filling for a great combination of textures. It’s quick and easy to make for a simple lunch that will please vegetarians and meat-eaters too.
- 4 red Romano peppers
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 45g blanched hazelnuts, chopped
- 30g pine nuts
- 90g couscous
- 60g raisins
- 3tbsp small capers, rinsed and drained, optional
- About 10 mint leaves
- Salt and ground black pepper
Set the oven to gas mark 6 or 200°C. Halve the peppers lengthways. Lay them on a baking sheet, skin-side up, and sprinkle with oil. Put them in the oven to bake for 15 mins.
Line another baking sheet with foil and put the hazelnuts on one side and the pine nuts on the other. Roast in the oven. The pine nuts will take 6-8 mins and the hazelnuts 10 mins. But keep an eye on them.
Meanwhile, put the couscous in a large bowl and pour over about 200ml boiling water. Stir in the raisins and leave for 10 mins.
Scrape juices from the pepper tray into the couscous. Add the nuts, capers, if using, and torn mint leaves. Season well. Fill the peppers with the couscous mixture.
Cover the tray loosely with foil. Bake for 10 mins, take the foil off and bake for another 10 mins. Serve peppers hot, drizzled with more olive oil, and with rocket leaves, if you like.
Top tip for making Crunchy nut Romano peppers
If not cooking for a vegetarian, you can add a few chopped anchovies for extra flavour.