Tuna-Stuffed Zucchini with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
In honor of National Zucchini Day (it's August 8th, summer squash lovers!), we dreamed up a mouthwatering dish starring all of our favorite Southern Italian flavors—tuna, anchovies, capers and fiery chilies in oil—and of course, zucchini. Tuna and fresh breadcrumbs give the filling heft, while the addition of umami-packed anchovies and briny capers provide the perfect countpoint for sweet, peak-season zucchini and burst cherry tomatoes.
Cook's note: To make the coarse fresh breadcrumbs, cut a couple slices of crusty bread into cubes and place in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the bread until it has a coarse texture (it is okay if there are still some larger pieces; this will create a rustic texture in the filling).
Recipe, food styling and photography by Asha Loupy
- 4 medium zucchini, stems and ends intact and halved lengthwise
- 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 IASA anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon Marinated Capers in Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Caravaglio
- 1/2 teaspoon IASA Hot Pepper in Olive Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Tellicherry Peppercorns
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 1/2 cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs, see Cook's Note
- One 4-ounce tin Bonito del Norte Tuna from Conservas Ortiz, drained and lightly flaked
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
To prepare the zucchini, hollow out the zucchini halves with a metal teaspoon or melon scoop, leaving about a 1/4-inch thick shell. Set aside the hollowed-out zucchini halves. Roughly chop the remaining zucchini insides and set aside.
To prepare the stuffing, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and continue to heat for another 30 seconds. Add the shallots and sauté until they are soft and translucent, about 2–3 minutes. Add the garlic and chopped anchovies and continue to sauté for another 30 seconds.
Increase the heat to medium high and add the reserved chopped zucchini insides to the shallots, garlic and anchovies. Stir to combine and cook until the zucchini just starts to soften, about 4–5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and let cool at room temperature for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to facilitate the cooling process.
Add the capers, hot pepper, black pepper and eggs to the vegetables and stir to combine. Add the breadcrumbs and tuna and gently toss to combine.
To assemble the zucchini, spoon a generous amount of the filling into each zucchini half. Repeat with the remaining zucchini halves, tranfserring the stuffed halves to a baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes with the remaining three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and salt. Arrange the dressed cherry tomatoes around the stuffed zucchini halves on the baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and bake the stuffed zucchini for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the zucchini is very soft and tender, the filling has crisped on top and the cherry tomatoes have burst, about another 25–30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve directly from the baking sheet or transfer the stuffed zucchini to a platter and spoon the tomatoes around them.