Roasted Red Peppers with Cous Cous

Roasted red peppers with cous cous

Roasted red peppers with cous cous - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2009

This is a lovely dish on its own with a green salad and crusty bread or as an accompaniment to a summer meal. You can use round peppers for this but the look and taste of the long Romano is spectacular.

Serves two as a main or four as a side dish

The roasted peppers

4 Romano red peppers

Extra virgin rapeseed oil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

The cous cous

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30g pine nuts

30g pumpkin seeds

3g fennel seeds

150ml water

A pinch salt

A pinch cayenne pepper

1 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil or mild olive oil

150g cous cous

30g raisins, optional

A handful of chopped herbs: basil, parsley, mint, coriander

4 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

For the dressing:

2 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil or a mild olive oil

2 tbsp good rich Balsamic vinegar

1 Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Make a small incision into the peppers length-ways of about 5cm, to assist the cooking. Place peppers on a baking tray, and roll them well in the oil and season with salt and pepper.

2 Place in a preheated oven, or in the Aga roasting oven on the grid shelf on the floor, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes until just soft, not coloured. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

3 Dry roast the pine nuts, pumpkin and fennel seeds in a frying pan on a medium heat, until lightly coloured, keeping an eye on them as they catch very easily. Then stand them to one side and allow to cool.

4 Put the water, salt, cayenne and 1 tbsp oil into a saucepan, and as the water boils add the cous cous. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid to allow the grains to swell and absorb the liquid. This takes two to three minutes. Break up the grains with a fork and stand for two to

three minutes to finish cooking. Using a fork, mix in the pine

nuts, fennel and pumpkin seeds, raisins, chopped herbs, 4 tbsp oil and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5 Remove the seeds from the cooled peppers by inserting a spoon into the incision and scraping away the seeds. Then spoon the cous cous mixture into the peppers, and place on plates and serve with a little dressing drizzled over each one.

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