Having a couple of tins of tuna in your pantry cupboard means you can get lunch or dinner on the table in no time at all.
Tuna is nutritious. It’s a good source of protein and contains omega fatty acids.
It even comes in portable pouches. Besides tuna sandwiches, it is ideal to use with pasta, in quiches and in salads.
We have used tuna in brine in these recipes. If you prefer, you can use the tuna in oil.
TUNA-STUFFED BAKED TOMATOES
8 large tomatoes
salt and pepper
15ml olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
5ml chopped garlic
2x 170g tins of tuna in brine, drained
rind and juice of 1 lemon
125g cream cheese
80ml chopped fresh mint
Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut a thin slice from the top of each tomato and reserve. With a teaspoon, remove the tomato flesh. Roughly chop it and set aside. Season the tomato shells with salt and pepper and place on a baking tray.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the chopped tomato flesh and fry for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly. Once cooled, mix in the remaining ingredients.
Spoon the tuna mixture into the tomato shells. Replace the tops and bake for 10-15 minutes, until tomatoes are just tender. Serve immediately.
SPICY COUSCOUS WITH TUNA
10ml garam masala
30ml tomato paste
1 lemon, juiced and zest
45ml boiling water
250ml vegetable stock, boiling
170g tin of tuna in brine, drained
4 tomatoes, seeded and diced
125ml flaked toasted almonds
125ml apricots, chopped
60ml pine nuts
125ml chopped fresh coriander
30ml lemon juice
60ml olive oil
In a large bowl, combine the honey, garam masala, tomato paste, lemon zest and juice and boiling water to form a paste.
Allow to stand for 2-3 minutes, and then stir in the couscous. Pour over the boiling stock and mix well.
Cover with cling wrap and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes. Flake with a fork to loosen the couscous. Add the rest of the ingredients, pour over the dressing and serve.
DRESSING: Whisk together all the ingredients.
TUNA AND SPINACH ROULADE
300g spinach, washed
4 eggs, separated
250ml grated Parmesan cheese
125ml grated cheddar cheese
2x170g tins of tuna in brine, drained and flaked
60ml cream cheese
60ml sour cream
30ml chopped piquanté peppers
60ml chopped fresh parsley
10ml lemon juice
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 24x35cm Swiss roll tin.
Cook the spinach in some water until wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly and squeeze out any moisture. Chop finely and cool.
Tip into a large bowl and mix in the egg yolks. Stir in the cheeses and season.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold into the spinach mixture.
Pour into the prepared tin and spread into the corners. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until set and light golden brown.
Turn the roulade out onto a large sheet of greaseproof paper. Peel away the lining and leave to cool.
Spread with the tuna filling and roll up like a Swiss roll. Chill until ready to serve.
FILLING: Combine all the ingredients and mix well.
2 x 170g tins of tuna in brine
5ml lemon zest
125ml chopped fresh parsley
1 egg, beaten
1 chilli, deseeded, chopped
4 spring onion, finely chopped
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
60ml chopped basil
oil, for frying
grated Parmesan, to serve
Drain the tins of tuna and place in a bowl.
Add the lemon zest, parsley, breadcrumbs, egg, chilli and spring onion and mix well.
Form 6 balls and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic and basil in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook the linguine in a pot of boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown tuna balls on all sides. Place in the tomato sauce and cook for about 10 minutes. Combine the pasta with the tuna balls and sauce.
Serve with grated Parmesan.
ASIAN THAI SALAD WITH FRUIT DRESSING
1 packet of red spring onions, chopped
1 small cucumber, ends trimmed and thinly sliced lengthways into ribbons with a peeler
100g fresh baby corn, halved lengthways
60ml pickled ginger, drained
5 radishes, thinly sliced
30ml rice vinegar
5ml sesame oil
the pulp of 2 passion fruit
5ml brown sugar
a pinch of chilli flakes
In a bowl, gently toss together the spring onion, cucumber ribbons, baby corn, pickled ginger and radishes.
Pour over half the dressing and marinate for 10 minutes.
Transfer to a serving platter, flake over the tuna and pour over the rest of the dressing.
DRESSING: Whisk all the ingredients together.
Angela Day, The Star