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Baked Tomatoes with Tuna, White Beans and Bread Crumbs

A hollowed-out tomato makes a perfect baking vessel; here, tuna, white beans and bread crumbs form a hearty filling. The beauty of this dish lies in its basic ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your pantry. For a striking presentation, reserve the tomato tops, with the stems attached, and place them over the filling before baking.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 slices crusty artisan-style bread, each about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled but left whole
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 large or 8 small ripe tomatoes
  • 1 can (5 oz.) water-packed albacore tuna, drained
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium canned cannellini or butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbs. minced red onion
  • 1 Tbs. capers, drained
  • 1 tsp. sherry vinegar

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 300°F. Lightly grease a baking dish with 1 tsp. of the olive oil.


Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and bake until crisp and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Scrape the garlic clove on one side of each warm bread slice. Let the bread cool, then tear into chunks and put in a food processor. Whirl to make uniform coarse crumbs. Transfer the bread crumbs to a bowl and mix with 2 tsp. of the olive oil and 1 Tbs. of the parsley. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F.


Cut a uniform opening in the top of each tomato around the stem and remove the tops. Using a melon baller, gently scoop out the core and seeds of the tomatoes, leaving the side walls intact. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, in the prepared baking dish.


In a large bowl, combine the tuna, beans, onion, capers, vinegar, the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and the remaining 1 Tbs. parsley. Stir to mix, using a fork to break up the tuna. Spoon the filling into the tomatoes, dividing it evenly and mounding it slightly on top. Cover the filling generously with the bread crumbs.


Bake until the bread crumbs are golden, the sides of the tomatoes are soft and the skins have just begun to split, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve. Serves 2.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Healthy in a Hurry, by Karen Ansel, MS, RD and Charity Ferreira (Weldon Owen, 2011).