Pairings: Peppers Stuffed With Merguez
Bill Durgin for The New York Times
Published: September 26, 2011
The Pinot noir from New Zealand has fewer acidity, sweetness, spice, mint and some funk at our palates. With this dish we are throwing those very same elements back at the wine.
Wines of The Times: In Wine, Friendliness Isn’t Always Enough (September 28, 2011)
Red bell peppers filled with merguez, a musky, spicy, lamb sausage, are baked. A mix of mint, sweet currants, dusky cumin and pine nuts ramps up the seasoning. The peppers are finished with a yogurt sauce.
The wines will not know where to turn, and they will be fairly matched.
The peppers are fine served hot or at room temperature, though straight out of the oven they should rest about five minutes first. If your peppers are small, the recipe will give you enough filling for about nine, and you will have a platter that’s suitable for an autumn buffet.
Peppers Stuffed With Merguez
Time: 11/2 hours
6 large red bell peppers, well shaped, so they stand
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup long-grain rice
3 tablespoons pine nuts
3 tablespoons dried currants
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 pound merguez sausage, casing removed
1 lemon, juiced, plus 6 thin slices
1 cup plain yogurt.
1. Slice the top half-inch off each pepper, discard the stems and finely chop the flesh of the tops. Remove and discard the cores and seeds. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onion and chopped peppers on low until soft and starting to color, about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, place the rice in a small saucepan with 3/4 cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook on low heat for 8 minutes. Stir the rice into the skillet along with the pine nuts, currants and 1 teaspoon cumin. Sauté briefly. Add the mint and season with salt. Remove from heat and add the wine.
3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place Merguez in a bowl and mix in the contents of the skillet until everything is well blended. Fill peppers with the stuffing, but do not pack tightly. Top each pepper with a slice of lemon. Place peppers in a baking dish; they should fit snugly. Add 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 cup water to the dish. Bake for 1 hour.
4. Mix the yogurt with the remaining cumin, remaining oil and lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt. Serve hot or at room temperature with yogurt sauce on the side.
Yield: 6 servings.
A version of this article appeared in print on September 28, 2011, on page D4 of the New York edition with the headline: Pairings.