Baked Red Peppers with Fennel

Wonderfully aromatic starter or side dish. Baked red peppers stuffed with fennel, tomatoes and spices
Serves: 4 - 8
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
2 red peppers
1 fennel bulb
1 tin plum tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 spring onion, chopped
Herbs & Spices
1 tsp Peppercorns Mixed
3/4 tsp Coriander Seed
1/2 tsp Fennel Seed
Cooking Instructions
Preheat the oven to 180C/325F/gas mark 4

Slice the red peppers in half lengthways, leaving the stalk on (slice through the stalk if you can so each half has a stalk). De seed and remove any pith. Put cut side up in a baking tray. Cut the fennel bulb into eighths, lengthways but leave attached at the root (to ensure it doesn't disintegrate during the next stage).

Drop the fennel into boiling water and blanch for 5 minutes then drain and spit into eighths.

Drain the tin of plum tomatoes. Spoon a portion of tomatoes into each red pepper half. Put two eighths of the fennel on top of the tomatoes, tucking the ends inside the pepper. Cover each red pepper with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil.

Crush the spices in a pestle and mortar (or with the back of a spoon) and sprinkle evenly over the peppers. Place the tray in the top of the oven and bake for 1 hour.

Sprinkle over the lemon juice and leave to cool in the tray. Serve sprinkled with chopped spring onions and fresh bread to mop up the juices.