Recipes | Lemons filled with tuna cream


Lemons filled with tuna cream

It may feel far from summery in the UK but one can always hope so get yourself into the mood with this lovely recipe from Eleonora Galasso's As the Romans Do.

Lemons filled with tuna cream
Limoni ripieni alla crema di tonno

Eleanora writes: In a favourable climate, lemon trees flower and bear fruit four times a year. Therefore this festive citrus dish can be found on our tables all year round. The creamy filling reminds me of the more famous Pesce Finto di Natale, but with the addition of mascarpone cheese. Italians like variations, after all, hardly ever sticking to a fixed plan. This luminous dish resonates with rural tradition, a nod to the little details that make life a marvellous journey. Bella la vita, eh?

Preparation time: 20 minutes plus chilling

Serves 4

4 large unwaxed lemons

180g (6oz) tinned tuna in olive oil, drained

2 teaspoons salted capers, rinsed

90g (3 1/4oz) mayonnaise

50g (1 3/4oz) mascarpone cheese

50g (1 3/4oz) pitted black olives

3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

small handful of chives

small handful of dill fronds

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

pinch of salt

pinch of white pepper

pinch of chilli flakes

To garnish

1 tablespoon chopped chives

1 tablespoon chopped dill fronds

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Halve the lemons lengthways.

Squeeze 4 tablespoons of juice out of one lemon and set this aside, then scoop out the pulp from all the lemons using a teaspoon. Remove and discard the seeds and put the lemon pulp and reserved juice in a food processor together with the rest of the ingredients. Blend together well to form a thick, creamy paste.

Use a spoon or a piping bag to fill the empty lemon halves, then scatter over the chopped herbs and dried oregano to finish. The filled lemons can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days until needed.

What to drink:
Lemon is quite hard to match with wine. I would choose something crisp and fresh but without too much of a powerful citrus flavour of its own like a Frascati, Falanghina or Greco di Tufo. Assyrtiko from Santorini would also work

This recipe comes from As the Romans Do: La Dolce Vita in a Cookbook by Eleonora Galasso, £25 Mitchell Beazley. Photograph © David Loftus

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