2 tbsp basil cress or small basil leaves, to garnish
For the dressing
bunch fresh basil
6 green olives, stones removed
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
50ml/2fl oz–100ml/3½fl oz olive oil, to loosen
To make the stuffed tomatoes, toast the bulgur wheat for a few minutes in a dry pan, until golden, then cover with water and simmer for 20–30 minutes until cooked. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
Place the pepper and garlic in a roasting tin and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Roast for 30 minutes or until soft and blistered. Leave to cool then peel off the skins and chop. Mix the peppers, garlic, bulgur wheat, tuna, lemon, ras el hanout, parsley and beans together and stuff inside the tomatoes. Drizzle with the remaining oil and roast for 20–30 minutes.
To make the dressing, blend the basil, olives, garlic and chilli in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add enough of the oil to loosen to a dressing consistency.
Spoon the dressing onto a serving platter and top with the roasted tomatoes. Garnish with the basil and serve.
Ras el hanout spice mix
A North African medley of fragrant spices to be used in tagines, as a marinade and much more.
2½ tbsp cumin seed
2 tbsp coriander seed
1 tbsp ground cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp black peppercorn
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp cardamom pod (seeds from about 10 pods)
a good pinch of saffron (optional)
Toast the whole spices in a small pan until they are aromatic and have turned a shade or two darker. Don’t be tempted to skip this stage, as it really enhances the flavours.
Tip into a spice grinder (or use a pestle and mortar), then add the ready-ground spices and dried herbs if required, and crush to a fine powder. Store in a sealed jar for up to six months
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