Baked peppers stuffed with sweet-spiced maftoul (Palestinian/giant cous cous) {vegan}

Peppers stuffed with sweet-spiced maftoul (Palestinian/giant cous cous) {vegan} - Marta's Plants

(cliccate qui per la versione italiana)

Happy Monday!

I am back from 3 months traveling all around the US. I had some great food as well as terrible (mostly just overly greasy and spicy), so I’m happy to finally be able to get back to my own kitchen and Italian ingredients 😀

I think by now you should know I love anything that involves citrus fruits and/or fresh coriander. I hope you do, too!! Because they’re amazeballs. Today’s dish is Middle Eastern-inspired, and if truth be told I often eat this way! I guess I just like mixing all my favorite flavors together – all the time.

What is maftoul? It’s bulgur wheat grains coated in a mix of white flour, whole wheat flour and salt. I bought it in London and, years later, found it again in the US (I think it’s impossible to find in Italy!). You can of course use regular cous cous or other grains instead.

 Peppers stuffed with sweet-spiced maftoul (Palestinian/giant cous cous) {vegan} - Marta's Plants

by Marta Giaccone

serves 2-3
prep time: 10 mins, cook time: 1 hr, total: 1 hr 10 mins


2 large or 3 small bell peppers
¾ cup maftoul (Palestinian/giant cous cous) or ½ cup regular cous cous
1 large onion, finely chopped
fresh juice of ½ an orange
zest of 1 orange, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, either minced or whole and then discarded
handful raisins
1 + ¼ cup vegetable stock for maftoul or ½ cup for cous cous
sweet paprika
cumin, seeds or ground
ground coriander
fresh coriander, chopped (or parsley)
handful pine nuts, toasted
olive oil



  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. Put orange juice, orange zest and raisins in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Bring vegetable stock to a boil.
  4. If using maftoul: heat two tbsp of oil in a large saucepan on medium-low heat, add chopped onion and garlic and let cook until translucent. Add maftoul and stir for a minute. Add the vegetable stock along with paprika, ground coriander and cumin. Bring to a simmer, still on low heat, then cover and let cook until all liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  5. If using regular cous cous: bring vegetable stock to a boil. Put cous cous in a bowl, pour liquid over it, cover with a plate or lid and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Fluff it up with a fork. If too dry or not wholly cooked, add some more hot liquid one tbsp at a time and let rest again, covered.
  6. Fluff the maftoul/cous cous with a fork and fold in raisins, orange juice and zest, fresh coriander (leave some for serving) and toasted pine nuts. Taste and add salt to taste.
  7. Slice the top of the peppers and remove the seeds. Fill peppers with maftoul/cous cous, place them inside an oven dish, cover with foil and bake until the peppers begin to collapse and brown, about 30-40 minutes depending on the oven. Bake the pepper tops along as well!
  8. Let cool and rest before serving. It tastes much better the next day actually!

Peppers stuffed with sweet-spiced maftoul (Palestinian/giant cous cous) {vegan} - Marta's Plants

Peppers stuffed with sweet-spiced maftoul (Palestinian/giant cous cous) {vegan} - Marta's Plants

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