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Tuna-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers with Romesco-Style Sauce

Serves 2.


    Vitamin C-rich piquillo peppers do double duty in this dish. Their triangular shape makes them perfect for stuffing with a tasty tuna filling, and they also make for a scrumptious sauce when paired with hazelnuts and garlic. A small amount of honey helps to balance out the smoky flavour. When paired with a salad, this dish easily serves two as a main meal, but it will stretch to a few more as part of a tapas-style meal.


    Pepper proficiency

    Piquillo means “little beak” and refers to the small triangular shape of the pepper, which is perfect for stuffing. These peppers, originating in northern Spain, are sold in cans or jars and have little heat but a deep sweet and smoky flavour compared to regular jarred peppers. Sodium levels can vary between brands, so look carefully at the label when choosing if sodium is a concern.

    If you can’t find piquillo peppers, look for sweet red peppers, which often have the same shape. Jars labelled “roasted peppers” will often contain a pepper larger than piquillos. If you decide to use these instead, simply slice the pepper to make a flat surface and roll the stuffing mixture inside.


    Tuna-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers with Romesco-Style Sauce


      • 6 oz (170 g) can tuna, rinsed and drained
      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) parsley
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
      • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) black pepper
      • 11 or 12 piquillo or sweet red peppers (drained contents of 9 1/2 oz/285 mL jar)
      • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) whole hazelnuts
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) sweet Spanish paprika
      • 1 garlic clove, peeled
      • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sherry vinegar
      • 2 tsp (10 mL) honey, divided


      Per serving:

      • calories345
      • protein27 g
      • total fat17 g
        • sat. fat3 g
      • total carbohydrates20 g
        • sugars17 g
        • fibre1 g
      • sodium410 mg



      Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).


      In small bowl, with fork, mix together tuna, parsley, lemon zest and juice, and black pepper. Set aside.


      Remove whole peppers from jar and set aside 6 to be stuffed. In bowl of food processor, place remaining peppers with hazelnuts, olive oil, paprika, garlic, sherry vinegar, and 1 tsp (5 mL) honey, and pulse to blend into a sauce. The texture will not be completely smooth.


      Add about 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of sauce to tuna mixture and stir through. Spoon remaining sauce into small baking dish to make a base for stuffed peppers.


      Stuff tuna mixture into 6 piquillo peppers and place them on top of the sauce in baking dish. Drizzle with remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) honey and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.



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