This recipe leaves the rare roasted veal from the traditional Vitello Tonnato behind and replaces it with peppers in true summery style. You can either roast the peppers or slice them raw, and the flavour combination with the tuna, caper and anchovy sauce is incredible with Jukes 8, our beautiful rosé. The bonus is that this dish can be prepared in no time and served as a dip or a substantial starter.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
6 Red and/or Yellow (Bell) Peppers (preferably both)
1 clove Garlic – finely sliced
2 tbsp Capers (rinsed)
2 tbsp Mayonnaise (the best you can find)
350ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 half Lemon (juiced)
400g canned Tuna (Ortiz White Tuna is my preferred brand)
Cracked Black pepper
If you want to serve this dish with roasted peppers, heat your oven to 200C. Line a large, flat baking tray with parchment. Halve the peppers and place them on the tray cut-side down. Roast them for half an hour. You will see the skin is blistering and blackening in places. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool before peeling. Discard the skin and seeds and slice them into lengths.
If you want to serve the peppers raw, slice them into lengths.
Blend the garlic, anchovies and capers using a food processor or blender. Then add the mayonnaise, extra virgin olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, and the tuna. Blend these ingredients until you have a coarse sauce, season carefully with sea salt and cracked black pepper. You can always add more of any of the ingredients to taste.
There is no precise flavour to aim for, as I recently experienced on a trip to Piemonte, where Vitello Tonnato appears on every menu. All you have to decide is your own ‘house style’.
Serve as a dip with raw peppers or arrange on a plate with raw peppers (used as cups) or cooked peppers (used as bases) with sauce spooned on top. Adventurous chefs can even roll cooked peppers into cylinders or cones and spoon the tonnato inside!