Tomatoes stuffed with tuna salad are an elegant, no-cook summer meal

On any given day at the height of tomato season, the lunch I whip up for myself might be a juicy heirloom tomato cut into wedges, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with flaky salt and plated with a scoop of tuna or chicken salad, perhaps with a slice of sourdough bread to soak up the juices.

It’s a simple and satisfying no-brainer of a meal. But hankering for something a little less basic, and having several especially large, locally grown tomatoes on hand, I figured why not put those same elements into play, but level-up by stuffing the vegetables?

I imagined the tuna-stuffed tomatoes would have a playfully retro vibe, like something you might find in a 1950s magazine feature for ladies-who-lunch. But instead of coming across as precious and old-fashioned, I was surprised at how contemporary and of-the-moment they seemed: a meal brimming with seasonal produce that’s fuss-free and impressively beautiful.

Stuffing the tomatoes is nearly as easy as pulling together that basic lunch of mine. The only additional step is to scoop the centers out of the tomato to create a little “bowl” for the tuna to nestle into. This is best achieved using a melon baller or grapefruit spoon, but a regular small spoon works, too, with the assistance of a serrated paring knife.

Get the recipe: Garden Tuna Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes

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Once the tomatoes are hollowed out, you fill them with the tuna salad, give them a finishing sprinkle of something green — microgreens, sprouts or parsley leaves — and drizzle them with oil. You could use any tuna salad you like (or switch it up with chicken salad,) but the version I’m sharing has a special, nutrient-rich flair because it’s amped up with lots of colorful garden produce.

Besides the typical celery, the tuna salad also has red bell pepper, scallion, grated carrot and fresh parsley. I added lemon juice and Dijon mustard, along with the usual mayo for an extra punch of flavor. You might want to add some salt as well, depending on the tuna you are using, since different brands vary widely in their saltiness.

While the recipe was inspired by — and is an ideal way to showcase — those big, perfectly ripe, heirloom tomatoes that are a summer highlight, if you don’t have those, you can certainly deconstruct this dish and serve the tuna salad on top, or alongside, any type of tomato wedges.

Either way it’s a combo that has become my go-to lunch for good reason.

Get the recipe: Garden Tuna Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes

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