Continuing my list of things that I appreciate about the Italian kitchen, I have to mention their understanding of the seasonality of different ingredients. Obviously me being a Finn, it doesn’t yet mean that I always follow this thinking.
I had some leftover mayonnaise in my fridge and decided to try this recipe that according to its source is “ideal for the summer season”. Ok, so the Finnish greenhouse tomatoes at this time of the year may bear little other resemblance to their summer (or Italian) versions than the colour red but the tasty stuffing of this recipe reasonably well makes up for what the winter tomatoes may lack in flavour. However, I think I will definitely prepare this dish also during the season officially approved by Italians, and might even take them (the tomatoes, not the Italians) with me to a summer picnic!
The tomatoes are quite filling so we had some to spare for the following day, and it seemed that they got even tastier over night. As mayonnaise can be a bit heavy, I am also thinking of substituting some of it with yoghurt to make it slightly lighter and fresher the next time.
Originally I was planning to use the recipe from the book “Oggi cucino io 4” but I ended up also partially utilizing this.
8 round, ripe tomatoes
350 g tuna in oil, crumbled with a fork
200 g mayonnaise
4 hard boiled eggs
6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
2 tablepoons capers in vinegar, drained, one half finely chopped, the other half without chopping
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
16 basil leaves, in small pieces
Cut away the top of each tomato, and scrape out the seeds of the tomatoes with a spoon. Turn the tomatoes upside down and leave them to drain on a plate. In the meantime, peel the eggs and cut them into small pieces. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise with the tuna. Add the capers, the anchovies, the eggs and the herbs, and mix well until you have a smooth(ish) paste. Season with salt and pepper. Fill the tomatoes with the paste and put them in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.