Magazine article Sunset

The Stuff of Spring. (Food Quick Cook)

Magazine article Sunset

The Stuff of Spring. (Food Quick Cook)

Article excerpt

Retro dishes--like stuffed peppers--might remind us of long hours in the kitchen, but these can be on the table surprisingly fast. Overflowing with lamb and couscous, they're light and satisfying at the same time. Lemony fattoush, a Middle Eastern salad with crunchy pocket-bread chips, matches the mood. And a frothy milk-based frappe ends the meal on a simple, healthy note.

Mediterranean Lamb- and Couscous-stuffed Peppers

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 35 minutes

MAKES: 4 servings

4 red, green, and/or yellow bell
  peppers (2 lb. total), rinsed
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh
  rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon olive oil
8 ounces ground lamb
5 tablespoons lemon juice
1 2/3 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth
1 1/4 cups couscous
1 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons crumbled
  feta cheese

1. Slice bell peppers in half lengthwise through stems (retain stems) and remove seeds. Place halves, cut side down, in a 12- by 17-inch baking pan. Bake in a 4500 regular or convection oven until lightly browned and tender when pierced, 13 to 18 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over high heat, stir onions, garlic, thyme, mint, and rosemary in olive oil until onions are limp and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

3. Add ground lamb and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Stir until lamb is browned and crumbly, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Stir in broth, couscous, and remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then cover and remove from heat; let stand until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender to bite, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in parsley; add salt to taste.

5. Turn pepper halves over; fill each with about 2/3 cup lamb mixture. Sprinkle feta cheese evenly over filling. Bake until cheese is slightly melted, 3 to 5 minutes. …

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