sharing recipes from one generation to the next
I have a love-hate relationship with summer. I’m no great fan of heat and humidity and all the associated discomforts so in the midst of our currently very hot summer I’ve become a nocturnal creature, hibernating in my comfortably cool and airy home while the sun is up and only venturing out at dusk.
Despite this, I love summer because of beautiful fruit and vegetables, especially tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes are my desert island food, the one ingredient I would pick if I was hypothetically marooned on desert island. With my wondrous magical vine ripened sun warmed tomatoes I would always be well fed.
It was my love of tomatoes that drew me to Claudia Roden’s Tuna Stuffed Tomatoes recipe in her wonderful book “The Food Of Spain.” When I create a stuffing mix for any vegetables I’m usually inspired by the ingredients that I have to hand and as I always have good quality canned tuna in the pantry, these was no exception. I modified the original recipe slightly to make it comply with my gut friendly diet with no compromise to the flavour.
Don’t discard the seeds and flesh from the tomatoes. Keep the solid pieces to add to the stuffing and pop the seeds and membranes into a sieve to strain off the delicious clear juice. I resisted temptation to guzzle the delicious clear tomatoes essence down straight away and added it to a seafood risotto instead. Don’t discard the oil from the tuna can either, it’s packed with flavour and will enhance any fish dish. I like to use it to fry croutons that will be tossed into to a salad to serve with fish.
The tasty tomatoes with their simple stuffing were a lovely light summer lunch served with a crisp green side salad.
makes 6 stuffed tomatoes
Tuna Stuffed Tomatoes
6 medium size ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon garlic oil
2 teaspoons of olive oil from the tuna can
3/4 cup soft sourdough breadcrumbs
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup finely diced zucchini
185g can of tuna in oil, drained (I use Sirena brand)
3 tablespoons roughly chopped pitted kalamata olives
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely snipped chives
1/4 cup basil leaves, roughly torn
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C, and lightly oil an ovenproof dish which will hold the tomatoes snuggly.
Slice the tops off the tomatoes to make a lid and set them aside.
Use a teaspoons to carefully scoop the flesh and seeds from the tomatoes. Set aside.
Leave the tomatoes upside down on a plate to drain.
Drain the oil from the can of tuna and set aside.
Tip the drained tuna into a mixing bowl and mash to a fine flake.
Heat the oils and fry the breadcrumbs until golden. Add to the tuna.
Add the celery and zucchini to the oily pan and saute briefly to soften. When done add them to the tuna mix.
Add the chopped tomato flesh, olives and chopped herbs. Season with a generous grinding of black pepper and salt to taste. I used roughly 1/2 teaspoon but that will depend on your tuna. Mix to combine.
Spoon the filling into the tomatoes and place the lids on top.
Put the tomatoes into the ovenproof dish and gently heat in the oven for 20 minutes.
Links to more of my stuffed vegetable recipes: