AKA mini peppers with tuna
Early evening, sundown has always been my favorite time of day on holiday. Skin positively glowing from a day soaking up vitamin D, legs and arms aching from a dip on the sea.
My mum used to use an old fashioned phrase “is the sun over the yardarm yet?” If it was, then it was perfectly acceptable to have a tipple. But with responsible drinking in mind, having a snack (or appetizer) with a drink to slow down its absorption is the perfect way to complete the task in hand mindfully!
As we move into longer and lighter days in the UK, around 6pm I crave this same holiday ritual – the opportunity to sit outside, glass of vino in hand and a small bite of food to whet the appetite. Unlike a summer holiday evening in the Med, this is far from a realistic option in London – but why not try and bring a bit of holiday to our daily lives?
With this in mind I bring you one of my recent favourite Italian appetizer recipes – peppers with tuna (pepperoncini con tonno). I have spent much time in Italy as my uncle settled there in the 1990s and I learnt this recipe from him during my visit last summer. We stuffed the peppers whilst we drank prosecco and waited for the BBQ on the balcony garden to hot up.
Recreating these summery bites in my London home almost made me believe I was back on that balcony, which certainly raised my serotonin levels for a few sweet precious moments.
My uncle has no problem growing the little peppers in the garden, but I – well, let’s just say I was happy to find jarred Peppadew Peppers in my London supermarket.
Appetizers exist to get you salivating and the digestive juices going, ready to properly digest your main meal. The great pleasure of a pretty plate and enticing taste aside, appetizers have a true nutritional purpose!
- 200g can tuna in water or brine, drained
- 2 tablespoons good quality mayonnaise (or use homemade - see below)
- 1 Tablespoon capers
- A few leaves of basil, finely sliced (chiffonade cut)
- Zest of half a lemon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Good grind of black pepper
- 1 x 400g jar of sweet & mild Piquanté peppers (Peppadew brand, available in UK supermarkets), drained
- Mix the tuna with the mayonnaise, capers, basil, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Use a small spoon to tease open the peppers and spoon in as much tuna filling as will fit.
- 1 large egg yolk
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- pinch salt
- 120mls mild olive oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Whisk together the egg yolk, mustard and salt in a bowl (place a tea towel under bowl to hold it still)
- Add the oil a little at a time, whisking constantly until all oil is incorporated.
- Add lemon juice a little at a time to preferred taste.
What’s your favourite time of day on holiday? And do you have a preferred tipple and snack to go with? 1