Stuffed peppers are delicious. Most often, to me, that term means bell peppers filled with a combination of rice and sauteed veggies, maybe some sausage, baked and topped with a bit of cheese. That’s the way I’ve always made them, the mental image I get when someone says stuffed peppers. R is not a huge fan of bell peppers and will usually cut open a stuffed pepper and eat the filling, maybe a few bites of pepper, and then discard the rest. Oh boy. I’ve been known to make a tiny one for myself and then eat his pepper, so he’s getting primarily rice and I’m getting primarily veggie. Not the best situation, so stuffed peppers aren’t on the menu here very often.
Going through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table, I ran into a recipe for Tuna-Packed Piquillo Peppers and my jaw dropped. A beautiful picture alongside a dish with oil-packed tuna, lemon, olives and capers, some of my favorite flavors. But how would I sell this as a good idea to R? The piquillo peppers were the key: flavorful, yes, and already roasted, so the skin and flavor that is unpleasant in a bell pepper is not a factor. At the grocery store, I was going to shell out $7 for a jar of piquillos and then happy day!, they were part of the olive bar in the deli. I was able to choose 6, just enough for one meal, and only spent a few dollars. Conveniently, they were right next to the nicoise olives I also needed. Nice work, Ballard Market.
The dish is so quick and easy– just drain the tuna (1 5-oz. can packed in olive oil), use a fork to break it up a bit, and add the zest of half a lemon. Mince a tablespoon of drained capers, 6 nicoise olives (about a tablespoon, and you could use any green or black olive instead) and a tablespoon of shallots and add them to the tuna with a few tablespoons of lemon juice and 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with kosher salt and ground black pepper, spoon the filling carefully into each pepper and place them on an oiled baking sheet or in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil just before heating and broil them, about 4 inches from the heat, for 8-10 minutes. Serve the peppers immediately. We enjoyed them with some warm roasted garlic bread (thank you, Mom!) and pickled asparagus. A light, quick meal for a spring night and a great way to eat some omega-3-, protein- and vitamin D-rich, delicious tuna.