I know this looks… boring. Plain. Nothing short of one seriously boring lunch.
And maybe it is. The good old tuna fish sandwich tends to get reviews ranging from a classic favorite to utterly disgusting, and this doesn’t have sprinkles or glitter or chocolate or peanut butter which things normally have to contain to catch my very cliched little eye.
But it’s like, such an easy lunch idea.
You might remember that a few years ago I mashed avocado into my tuna to create an atypical salad, and it pretty much changed my life. I think I ate it on toast for six days straight, and every time I’m reminded of it, I still end up doing so.
Obviously this is my take on the (what I like to refer to as God-awful) standard tuna-stuffed tomato, which for some reason I could just never get behind. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always found the dish disturbing and – next to plate of steamed vegetables with no butter or salt – the least likely thing I’d ever order. Ever evah. I’m sure it had to do with the whole veg-phobia and mayo overload, but it just never appealed to me.
Unnnnntil now. Roasted tomato obsession? Check. Somewhat of a weird and freakish tuna obsession? Double check. [I can’t help it people, it reminds me of my childhood and my grandma and my mom and just a bunch of warm, fuzzy things wrapped up in a cuddly blanket and covered in snowflakes.]
So get this: as soon as I was finished photographing these, I layered them on thick slices of that toasted harvest bread from Whole Foods that I adore, and added an extra sprinkle of parmesan. Gah. It was just such a great lunch. And so simple! What does this meeeeeean?
Yield: serves 2-4, as part of a meal
Total Time: 25 minutes
8 small to medium tomatoes, cut in half (I used campari tomatoes, which seemed to be the perfect size)
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 ounces white chunk or albacore tuna, drained
1/3 cup cooked cannellini beans
1/2 ripe avocado
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil leaves
2 ounces white cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Using a knife or spoon (I actually used a grapefruit knife), gently scoop out the seeds and flesh of he tomato. Discard or eat if desired. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over tomatoes, then 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Roast for 12-15 minutes, just until tomatoes are juicy and soft. Don’t over-roast here because the “cups” will collapse and be unstuffable.
While tomatoes are roasting, add tuna, white beans and avocado to a large bowl. Mash with a fork until your desired consistency is reached, then add in remaining olive oil, salt and pepper, along with basil. Mash and mix well.
Remove tomatoes and gently spoon a teaspoon or 2 of tuna mixture into the tomato cups. Cover with a sprinkling of cheese and panko, then bake for another 5-8 minutes until cheese is melted and tuna is warm. Serve!
Totally going to make this up to you tomorrow. Trust me.