Monday, December 7, 2015

Spanish-Style Tuna-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers (Pimientos del Piquillo Rellenos de Atun)

Piquillos are a small, mildly spicy-sweet pepper from Spain that are typically roasted then jarred or tinned, and often served as tapas stuffed with everything from goat cheese, Manchego, chorizo, salt cod (bacalao), to tuna or other savory ingredients. This is my version of tuna-stuffed piquillos served over lightly toasted slices of French bread, basically roasted peppers stuffed with a delectable tuna salad. Great as an appetizer or light meal. I think this might also be great stuffed with a tuna tartare or crab cake-like stuffing - hmmm...

3 10-oz. cans of oil-packed tuna, drained (since canned tuna from Spain is not readily available, I use Genova brand yellow fin tuna in olive oil, which is stocked in most of our local supermarkets)

1/2 cup regular or light mayonnaise (my fav is Best Foods brand)
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. minced shallot or onion
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. capers, chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
3 tbsp. minced Italian parsley
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. Spanish paprika
Salt & pepper, according to taste
1 hard boiled egg, chopped (optional)

12 to 14-oz. jar piquillo peppers

Approximately 12 French bread or baguette slices (or enough to match the number of stuffed peppers)

1. Drain the tuna, place in a medium bowl, and gently combine with all ingredients except for the piquillo peppers. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed (if the canned tuna is unsalted, then you might want to season with a bit of salt)

2. Remove the peppers from the jar and drain.

3. Stuff the peppers with the tuna mix and set aside.

4. To serve: lightly toast the bread slices, place in a single layer on a platter, then top each with a stuffed pepper. 

5. Serve immediately.

Finely minced shallots. 

Place drained tuna and all ingredients except the peppers in a bowl. 

Gently stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed (salt, pepper, lemon juice, etc.). If the canned tuna you are using is unsalted, then you should definitely season with a bit of salt.

Oil-packed tuna, roasted piquillo peppers from Spain (bought these from Sur La Table), Mayo, smoked paprika, capers, and fresh lemon. 

Stuff the peppers with the tuna mixture and top each on a slice of lightly toasted baguette or French bread. 

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