Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Time: 45 minutes
About 24 sweet small bell peppers, cored
6 tablespoons olive oil, more as needed
1¼ teaspoons fine sea salt, more as needed
1 cup medium or coarse bulgur
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced onion
½ cup diced green bell pepper
1 medium or 2 small jalapeños, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 chopped anchovy filets (optional)
Black pepper, to taste
1 jar (140-200 grams) of tuna packed in olive oil, drained
2 tablespoons mayonnaise or plain Greek-style yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice, more to taste
⅓ cup chopped cilantro
⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley, mint or dill (or a combination), more for garnish
2½ tablespoons capers
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
On a rimmed baking sheet, toss peppers with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast, stirring once or twice, until peppers are tender, 15 to 22 minutes.
Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in a medium pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat.
Add bulgur and toast, stirring, until it smells nutty, about 3 minutes.
Add tomato paste, cumin and 1 teaspoon salt, and sauté until tomato paste darkens, 1 to 2 minutes.
Pour in stock or water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until bulgur is soft all the way through, 15 to 20 minutes.
Drain off any remaining liquid and set aside to cool.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add 1 tablespoon oil and heat until shimmering.
Add celery and sauté until just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.
Add onion, green bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic and anchovies (if using).
Sauté until vegetables are just tender but not soft (a little texture is welcome), 4 to 6 minutes.
If mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a tablespoon or two of water.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.
Put tuna in a large bowl and use a fork to break into chunks.
Add remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons oil, mayonnaise (or yogurt) and lemon juice and mash until tuna is broken into small flakes.
Mix in onion-celery mixture, bulgur, herbs and capers and stir well.
Taste and add more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice as needed.
Make a slit lengthwise down each pepper to open it up.
Stuff the bulgur mixture into the open peppers, then pinch the peppers so that the stuffing holds the two sides together. (It’s OK if the peppers aren’t completely closed).
Arrange on a platter, sprinkle with lemon juice and garnish with herbs.
Serve immediately or at room temperature.