Monday, February 28, 2011

Tunisian Stuffed Peppers

I am enjoying all the beautiful colored peppers that are on sale in the market now. Reds, yellow, orange and green,  such a wonderful burst of colors. Apparently, my darling dear was loving them too and when he went off to the shops recently he bagged me several to play with.  It is honest to say, we love our stuffed peppers: with ground beef, with rice, mexicorn or not, saucy or topped with cheese. I've prepared them many different ways but never -- never with Harissa! This Tunisian spread has a variety of peppers and spices which deliver a different kind of earthy heat than the warm southwest or the cool hot asian style chilis we're accustomed to eating.  In honor my newest condiment, I give you these layered peppers bathed in a Tomato/Harissa/Fennel sauce.

Tunisian Stuffed Peppers
Tunisian  Stuffed Peppers
Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil Pearl Couscous, Sausage and Tomatoes

How to stuff a pepper
How to stuff a pepper
Prepping the Peppers
Prep work

For the recipe, click Read More!

Tunisian Stuffed Red Peppers
Serves 6
Prep 15 minutes
Bake 30 - 45 minutes

6 Red Bell Peppers
1 pkg Near East Pearl Couscous Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil flavor
1 tbl olive oil
1 cup red onion, chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
½ lb ground Sweet Italian Sausage
½ fennel bulb, chopped
1 15oz can petite diced tomatoes and juice
1 tablespoon, plus ½ teaspoon Harissa Spread ***HOT** adjust to taste
1 cup grated Fontinella Cheese
1 medium tomato, sliced into 6 thin slices
1 whole fire roasted yellow bell pepper (jarred variety), skinned and divided into 6 pieces

Cut tops of red bell peppers, remove seeds and ribs, rinse thoroughly, pat dry with paper towel.
Prepare Pearl Couscous according to package instructions, take off heat and let it absorb any remaining water, cool.

Preheat oven to 350˚ and pour diced tomatoes, chopped fennel and Harissa spread in bottom of quart dutch oven.
In a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, crumble and brown sausage about 5-7  minutes, add chopped onion, bell pepper and continue cooling until softened. Add ½ teaspoon Harissa, stir to blend. Take off heat and set aside.

In each pepper, layer first sausage mixture, filling about ½ of pepper, add slice of fire roasted pepper to separate, then add layer of couscous. Pack each layer. Top with thin sliced tomato, sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons cheese on top. Place filled peppers in tomato, fennel and Harissa sauce; cook covered for about 30-45 minutes. Remove lid for last 15 to brown cheese.

Cook’s Tips
Traditional Organic Harissa Les Moulins Mahjoub available a Sur La Table
Info about Harissa
You can substitute another mild easy melting cheese to top these and I think it would be wonderful with either ground lamb or beef if you don’t want pork sausage.
I served this with a chopped cucumber salad with fennel and sour cream on top of shredded romaine lettuce. The cool cucumber balanced the hot Harissa nicely.


  1. YUM! As usual, the flavor index is turned up high with your delicous recipe...reading its elements has me drooling with the spicy harmonies! I also love stuffing vegetables--fun to eat them and fun to play with the infinite varieties of fillings. This one's a keeper, Robin!

  2. Don't know about drooling, but the harissa will make you sweat for sure. It was fun playing with something different within a familar context. The texture of the pearl couscous was so delightful. I look forward to see what's next at Bentobird. Thanks for continuing our conversation :D


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