{recipe} Grilled Tuna & Cubanelle Peppers with Olive & Caper Vinaigrette

August 24, 2010

I’m not big into bell peppers. And though I like spicy peppers—like jalapenos, poblanos and chipotles—I think of them as ingredients that enhance a larger whole. I rarely get excited about them being a main attraction. But there is one kind of pepper about which I feel differently. Cubanelle peppers. I LOVE these things and am always thrilled when I discover them at the farmer’s market.

Cubanelles have a sweet, mild flavor and thin flesh that feels just right compared to bulky bell peppers. They are fantastic pickled, sauteed (I like frying them with butter and shallots and layering them on top of crusty bread smeared with fresh ricotta cheese) or grilled, like in this recipe.

My original plan was to grill tuna and top with a simple vinaigrette. Though I’m sure the fish would have been lovely just like that, I felt like something was missing. I struggled with what to add. I tend to gild the lily and really wanted to keep this simple. Adding a layer of grilled cubanelle peppers was just right. They added texture, a simple layer of flavor and beauty with vibrant, light green skin speckled with char.

Totally delicious.

And easy, too. In fact, there’s no formal recipe. Just some quick instructions:

Liberally grease your grill and throw on some tuna (seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper) and the peppers. You want the peppers to be soft and charred in spots. They don’t take long—remember that they are thin peppers. In the meantime, make a basic vinaigrette (your favorite using red or white wine vinegar) and add a bunch of chopped capers and (more) kalamata olives.

You can easily share this with babies as young as 6 months. For the littlest eaters, mash the tuna with or without the vinaigrette. Older babies can partake in capers and olives, too. If they are eating finger foods, chop up small pieces for them to pick up with their little pincer grip. The briny flavor is a great way to excite their palate (even if they don’t like it at first!). The only caveat is that tuna is a tricky fish—for all of us, really. It can be quite high in mercury. I’d recommend doing a little reading before you feed tuna to your kids (or before deciding how often you’ll feed tuna to your kids). Here’s a start.

One Response

  1. stephanie says:

    that looks AMAZING!!

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