We love the silkiness and flavor of roasted bell peppers. But for an even easier preparation, stuff the tuna filling into mini bell peppers or brined piquillo peppers
- 8 to 10 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (about 3 pounds total)
- 1/3 cup or so extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt, or to taste
- Two (6-ounce) cans best-quality tuna packed in water
- 2 small anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped (optional)
- 2 tablespoons small capers, drained and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Heat the oven to 350°F. Rub the peppers all over with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for about 30 to 40 minutes, turning the peppers occasionally, until their skins are wrinkled and slightly charred.
Let the peppers cool completely. Slice in half (through the stem end), discard the stem, peel off the skin with your fingers and a paring knife, and slice the halves lengthwise into strips 2 inches wide. Scrape the seeds from the strips, and lay the strips in a sieve to drain and dry.
To make the stuffing, drain the tuna and break it into flakes in a medium bowl. One at a time, mix the seasonings into the tuna with a fork: chopped anchovies, if using, capers, lemon juice, mustard, mayonnaise, parsley, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir vigorously, breaking up any lumps of tuna, until the stuffing is soft and fairly smooth. Add more of the seasonings to taste. This makes about 1 2/3 cup filling.
Drop a scant tablespoon of stuffing at one end of each roasted pepper strip and roll it up snugly, creating a neat cylinder. Press the pepper as you wrap, so it adheres to itself and stays closed. To serve, arrange all the rolls on a platter, drizzle a bit more olive oil all over, and sprinkle lightly with coarse salt.
Serves 8 — Recipe adapted from Lidia’s Italy by Lidia Bastianich (Knopf, 2007)