Ciao'd with a glass of iced elderflower tea.
Juicy, fresh, and full of flavor, tuna-stuffed tomatoes make a lovely first course for a summer dinner or a light lunch anytime. This recipe, based loosely on one by Marcella Hazan, combines albacore tuna with briny capers, salty black Kalamata olives, and a spike of spicy mustard in a sun-ripened whole tomato.
6 large, ripe, round tomatoes
3 cans (5 ounces) tuna, packed in olive oil
1/3 cup homemade or best-quality prepared mayonnaise (or more to taste)
2 teaspoons spicy mustard such as Dijon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped black olives such as Kalamata
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley plus more for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
Slice off the tops of the tomatoes. Scoop out pulp and seeds, leaving a 1/2-inch shell. Salt lightly and invert the tomatoes on a platter so their liquid drains.
Drain the tuna, allowing a tablespoon or two of the oil to remain with it. In a medium bowl, mash the tuna. Mix in the mayonnaise, mustard, and lemon juice. Add the capers, olives, and parsley and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Fill the tomatoes with the tuna mixture, mounding it at the top. Garnish with parsley leaves. Serve at room temperature or just slightly chilled. Based on a recipe from The Classic Italian Cookbook, Marcella Hazan, Ballantine Books, 1973.