I love this NPR article on Bento box lunches. Everything is so tiny and cute. This recipe was originally for teeny tiny cherry tomatoes, but I have less patience than that, especially the day I made this. So I got two nice, firm, medium-sized, super-red Beefsteak tomatoes from the Tucson Farmer’s Market and altered the recipe for that instead. I also put a little of my own flair into the recipe, which is always fun. I loved this recipe. I can see using it in a million ways. It is substantial and also light. Although I’m not quite sure how it manages that. I can see this being a great choice for a light lunch, a brunch or even a savory breakfast treat. Another favorite thing about this recipe is how familiar it is. Take a look at the ingredients below. I’ll wait. . . . . . . See? It’s basically a yummy tomato stuffed with tuna salad. The great thing about this is that the flavors are immediately recognizable and familiar to people, making this an easy hit. What keeps it from being boring is the twist on the tomato and the tuna salad. Note the optional sriracha in this recipe. If you want it to be spicy, then add to taste, if you prefer things without much heat then just don’t put it in. One of my darkest secrets is that I am not a huge fan of celery (even though I still make myself eat it semi-often), but I DO for some reason like celery leaves. They give just enough of the celery flavor without overwhelming me. And I love that the majority of the crunch in this revised tuna salad comes from yellow bell peppers, which are sweet and taste like sunshine. This recipe made enough for 2 medium Beefsteak tomatoes. So you’ll want to double the stuffing recipe if you want to make 2 more. For me, this was perfect. I had one for dinner and loved the light savory taste so well that I ate the second one for breakfast the next morning. I regret nothing except failing to make 4 tomatoes full so I could eat them for longer.
Spicy Tuna Stuffed Tomatoes
2 medium Beefsteak tomatoes
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1-2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 5-oz. can tuna, drained
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves
2 tablespoons chopped yellow bell pepper
3 teaspoons minced scallions, green parts only
1/2-1 teaspoon sriracha (optional)
1. Lop the top off of the two tomatoes and scoop out the middle.
2. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat.
3. Once the water is boiling, parboil the tomatoes by dropping them, one at a time, into the water for no longer than a minute depending on the tomato and water temperature this might be even shorter. Keep an eye on your food. You just want them to be cooked enough that you can peel and slip off the skins easily. Remove with a slotted spoon and place the tomatoes on a plate to cool off. Once they are cool enough to handle, carefully slip off the skins, taking care not to break the tomato shell.
4. In a small bowl, combine the yellow cornmeal and Italian seasoning, mixing well.
5. Gently place the skinned tomatoes, one at a time, into the bowl and roll them around to cover the outsides with the cornmeal mixture.
6. Place the tomatoes in two small ovenproof bowls and bake in your toaster oven on 350F for 10-15 minutes, or till the cornmeal firms up a bit. Take the tomatoes out of the oven and let them cool till just warm.
7. In the same bowl in which you rolled the tomatoes, add all of the other ingredients and stir gently to mix.
8. Fill the tomato shells with the tuna salad and serve immediately.