St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

CULINARY : Appetizers : Charred Gypsy Peppers with Israeli Couscous & Yogurt Sauce

Charred Gypsy Peppers with Israeli Couscous & Yogurt Sauce


Serves 4

Gypsy Peppers & Couscous


1 cup dried Israeli Couscous (pearl pasta)
8 green onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
Small handful of mint leaves, chopped
Small handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
½ cup of toasted pine nuts
4 large ripe Gypsy peppers
Extra virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 400°F.
Bring couscous and 4 quarts of heavily salted water to a boil and cook for 12 minutes or until tender. Drain and toss with a little extra virgin olive oil.
Cook onions with a splash of olive oil over medium heat until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, then add the paprika and grated lemon zest. Stir in the chopped herbs and toasted pine nuts. Once combined and a little darkened, add the lemon juice and couscous. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Cut the pepper in half lengthwise, leaving the stem attached, then remove the seeds and core. Lay the halves cut side up in an ovenproof baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Cover loosely and bake for about ½ hour until soft and a little charred.
Plate 2 half peppers per plate and top with a large spoonful of couscous and then with the yogurt sauce.

Yogurt Sauce


¾ cup Greek yogurt
Handful each of cilantro and mint, chopped
Pinch of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon honey
Pinch of salt


Combine all ingredients in a bowl


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