Pickled cherry peppers stuffed with tuna, capers, and anchovy

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This Calabrian tuna-stuffed pepper recipe makes a truly impressive antipasti dish. These small but perfectly-formed peppers are bursting with flavour, thanks to punchy anchovy, capers and tuna.

First published in 2017




Pickled cherry peppers stuffed with tuna, capers, and anchovy

  • 300g of round cherry peppers
  • anchovy fillets in oil, (15–20)
  • capers in brine, (2–3 tbsp)
  • 200g of tinned tuna, well-drained (use the best quality you can find)
  • 380ml of white wine vinegar
  • 380ml of dry white wine
  • extra virgin olive oil, enough to submerge the peppers in a jar
  • salt

Optional aromatics

  • bay leaves
  • black peppercorns
  • oregano


  • Sterilised 1l jar


Start by preparing the peppers. Slice just enough off the tops of each pepper to expose the inner flesh and seeds. Using a fine teaspoon, scoop out the seeds and any pith. Depending on the type of pepper used, consider wearing plastic gloves and protective eyewear for this process. Rinse the peppers and set aside
Heat the white wine and vinegar in a saucepan until it reaches a low boil. Add the optional spices of your choice and a pinch of salt. Add the peppers and leave to boil on a low heat for 4–5 minutes
Drain and place on a clean tea towel with the open side facing down. Allow the peppers to dry completely (this could take several hours)
Thoroughly drain the tuna and blitz in a blender with the capers and anchovy fillets until a smooth, thick paste forms. Using either a pastry bag or small teaspoon, stuff each pepper with the filling until level with the top of the pepper
Sterilise the jars and lids in simmering hot water for 15 minutes. Remove with tongs and place on a clean tea towel. While the jars are still hot, begin layering in the stuffed peppers, being careful not to over-pack them, and keeping the peppers upright. Leave an inch of space free at the top of the jar
Next, fill each jar with enough olive oil to cover the peppers completely. Close well but not overly tightly and return the jars to a large pan. Add water to 1 inch above the tops of the jars and bring to the boil. Boil for 30 minutes, then remove from the water and set aside to cool. When the jars are completely cooled, test the seal and firmly tighten the lid
Store the peppers for up to 3 months in the refrigerator. They should be consumed within 3 days of opening. Remove a jar from the cold a few minutes before serving on your antipasto platter
First published in 2017

Amy Gulick is a freelance writer and translator from California who lived in Tuscany for over twenty years.

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