Fennel and Spiced Hazelnut Sesame Roasted Peppers with Pomegranate & Cinnamon Couscous
This recipe is made a lot easier by the use of a blender. You can do it the old fashioned way by bashing with a rolling pin but I’m not sure I’d recommend catching yourself in the mirror red-faced bashing away at nuts….
I know it looks like there is a lot to do but really it takes about 30 minutes to prepare. You can use just about any grain you like. Try Quinoa or rice or Bulgur or go raw and use minced cauliflower.
This will serve 2- 4 people (depending on how hungry you all are). Sam Dyer
Stuffed peppers 2 red peppers: halved with the green stalks still attached, deseeded and the pith removed (that’s the white, slightly furry bit!) 1 bulb of fennel A few Kalamata olives Olive oil Salt and pepper
Hazelnut & Sesame Spice Mix 1tsp Cumin seeds 1ts Coriander seeds 1tsp Sumac ½ tsp fennel seeds ¼ - ½ tsp chilli flakes (or whatever amount floats your boat) 50g roasted hazelnuts (preferably with the skins removed) 25g Sesame seeds
Couscous Salad 250g Couscous ( in the picture I have used a whole wheat large couscous just for the pure joy of seeing the little balls and because I live on the best street ever where I can get any ingredients going….. use whatever you can forage) 1 Pomegranate: deseeded 150g Mange toute: topped and tailed and cut into bite size pieces A handful of coriander, mint and parsley.
Cinnamon Dressing 3tsp of agave syrup or maple syrup or you can use good old white sugar but just reduce to 1 or 2 tsp as it’s more powerfully sweet. 1 tsp cinnamon powder Drizzle of olive oil Juice of half a lemon Salt to taste
Here’s the Method: Make the spice mix first by gently frying all the ingredients in a dry pan, making sure it doesn’t burn and waiting for the sesame seeds to start popping.
Remove from heat and blitz in the blender
Add salt to taste and divide between the peppers, putting the mix in the bottom of the peppers.
Next comes the pretty bit… Slice the fennel from top to bottom so you have 1cm (ish) slices of heart shaped fennel. Trim if necessary and place in the bottom of the halved peppers. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil and roast in a medium oven until roast peppers are soft and sweet. Add a olive to each and voila…
While the peppers are in the oven prepare the couscous salad….
Cook the couscous according to the instructions on the packet or lose yourself in a google search on the ancient art of couscous preparation.
When the couscous is cooked, cool and then add the mangetout, pomegranate and chopped herbs
Make the dressing by mixing all the dressing ingredients together and then mix through the couscous. Add salt to taste.
Serve with leaves. It’s a great time of year for wild picking. Try some dandelion leaves in there or some edible flowers.