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Make these Tuna and Olive-Stuffed Peppers, a sustainable savory snack

Five red romano pepper halves stuffed with filling lying face-up on a baking sheet
Tuna & Olive-Stuffed Romano Peppers
Photo: The Experiment Publishing

If you’ve started gathering stores for your doomsday bunker, it’s not a bad idea to put canned fish like tuna, sardines, anchovies, and mackerel near the top of your shopping list. They’re chock-full of essential nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, making them a much healthier protein source than Vienna sausages or SPAM. They’re environmentally friendly, too—while 80% of our planet’s fish stocks are overfished, small species have healthy wild populations that replenish themselves quickly.

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Dutch chef Bart van Olphen became obsessed with the culinary possibilities of canned fish 15 years ago after learning about the harsh ecological effects of the commercial fishing industry. This past year he launched Sea Tales, sustainable canned fish company that emphasizes the connection between farmers, fish, and our planet. He’s also released The Tinned Fish Cookbook, with dozens of recipes that prove canned fish can be destined for a hell of a lot more than mayo-laden sandwiches.


Tuna & Olive-Stuffed Romano Peppers

Reprinted with permission from The Tinned Fish Cookbook by Bart Van Olphen

  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 12 shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • Half a 2-ounce (45 g) tin of anchovies, drained
  • One 5-ounce (140 g) tin of tuna (preferred pole & line caught and MSC certified) in olive oil, drained
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 5 black olives, halved
  • 2 Romano peppers, halved
  • 2 teaspoons panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Pepper


Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Heat a splash of olive oil over medium-high heat and saute the red onion, garlic, and shiitake mushrooms until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the anchovy fillets and let them “melt” in 2 minutes. Finally, mix in the tuna, capers, and olives and cook for a few more minutes until warmed through.

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Meanwhile, brush the halved peppers with olive oil and place them in an ovenproof dish.

Remove the tuna mixture from the heat, fill the peppers with it, and dust with panko. Drizzle some extra olive oil on top and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp and done.

Scatter the lemon zest and the parsley over the peppers. Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve.

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DISCUSSION

szielins
Stephan Zielinski

The species of fish classed as “tuna” are not small. Skipjack comes closest, at a meter and ten kilograms, but albacore is twice that. Not only are the fisheries in trouble, the species themselves aren’t doing so hot. Albacore’s been “near threatened” since 2011, and two bluefins and a bigeye range from “vulnerable” to “critically endangered”.

When it comes to determining whether food is sustainable, get your information from scientists, not the guys selling you the food. The latter have motive to greenwash.