Stuffed Pepper with Freekeh Mix
Ingredients For the freekeh: 150g freekeh 3 pinches sea salt flakes ½ tsp fennel seeds 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds 1 tbsp sunflower seeds 2 pinches ground cumin 2 pinches ground coriander 450ml water
To finish the freekeh: 2 cups jasmine tea 2 tbsp sultanas a small bunch of coriander a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley 2 tbsp pine nuts 2 tbsp flaked almonds juice of ½ lemon 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the peppers: 4 yellow or red peppers 1 tbsp olive oil
To finish: 2 tsp aged balsamic vinegar 1 heaped tsp flaked almonds 1 heaped tsp pine nuts 1 heaped tsp pumpkin seeds a handful of baby lettuce leaves Begin with 2 cups of jasmine tea. Place the sultanas in one cup and leave them until required. The other cup of tea is for you – you’ve earned it. Finely chop the coriander and parsley. In a medium-sized saucepan, place the freekeh, salt, fennel seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cumin and ground coriander. Cover with the water, bring to the boil on a high heat and then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook like this for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You will know that your freekeh is cooked when it has absorbed all the water and still has a slight bite to it. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the freekeh to a bowl and leave to cool. Once the freekeh has cooled, add the pine nuts and flaked almonds, along with the lemon juice and olive oil. Strain the sultanas and add these too. Add the parsley and coriander and stir this mixture well. Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary. Put aside, ready to use as the stuffing for the peppers. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3½. Remove a thin slice from the base of each pepper so that the peppers stand upright. Slice the peppers crossways, about 1cm from the top – this gives you the pepper’s ‘lid’. Use a spoon to scoop out and then discard the seeds and white pith. Spoon an equal amount of the freekeh mixture into each pepper. Pop the ‘lid’ on top and place the stuffed peppers on a baking tray or in an ovenproof dish. Brush each pepper all over with olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes. To serve, arrange a few lettuce leaves in the centre of each plate and place a hot pepper on top. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and scatter with a few nuts and seeds. Serve immediately.