Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr
From Delia Smith's Christmas. This makes for a nice first course or side dish. Serve with a crusty loaf of bread to soak up all the fragrant juices.
- 4 red bell peppers, largest ones you can find
- 1 (400 g) can Italian plum tomatoes
- 2 fennel bulbs, small
- 8 teaspoons olive oil (good quality)
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons mixed peppercorns
- 3⁄4 teaspoon coriander seed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fennel seed
- rock salt
- 1⁄2 lemon, juice of
- 1 -2 tablespoon spring onion, finely chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F/180°C.
- Get a saucepan of salted water started boiling.
- Slice each pepper in half lengthwise, cutting right through the green stalk end and leaving it intact. It won't be eaten, but adds much to the look of the finished dish. Remove all the seeds and the white membrane.
- Place the pepper halves on a baking sheet.
- Drain the tomatoes (you don't need the juice) and divide them into eight equal portions, placing each portion inside a pepper half.
- Pare off any brownish bits of fennel and slice the bulbs first into quarters and then again into eighths, carefully keeping the layers attached to the root end.
- Put the fennel into the boiling water and blanch for 5 minutes.
- Drain into a colander and as soon as they're cook inough to handle, arrange two slices in each pepper half.
- Sprinkle 1 teaspoons olive oil over each once, using a brush to brush the oil around the edges and sides of the pepper.
- Lightly crush the pepper berries, coriander and fennel seeds with a pestle and mortar. Sprinkle these evenly all over the fennel and peppers and finish off with a grinding of rock salt.
- Bake the peppers for about 1 hour on a high shelf in the oven until they are soft and the skin wrinkled and nicely tinged with brown.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the lemon juice, cool and serve garnished with the spring onion, if using.