Take a tin of tuna

No, take two actually, but before you do, please thank my sister Philippa for sending me this.  I believe she culled it from a book of recipes using canned fish of various types.  I might be wrong and she can correct me if so.  But she tried it last year and described it to me, it sounded great and I asked her to forward me the recipe which she duly did.

Since this is old hat to her and new to me, I'll put it here for both of us.

Tonight was one of those nights when nothing was planned: we'd been away for the weekend, got home mid afternoon and inspiration simply wasn't striking, or not hard enough to make a dent in my thoughts for an evening meal.  It was too late to defrost anything, there were no leftovers with which to get creative and I sifted through my 'Recipes Pending' file, the one that started in a small clear folder and now spills all over the floor beside my desk and spawns offshoot piles in other rooms.  I can't keep up, truly I can't.  I am addicted to collecting them all:  clippings from newspapers and magazines, emailed suggestions from kind friends and scribbled notes on the back of old envelopes.

I came across the following one close to the top of the pile closest to me.  Aha!  This is both recent and untried by me and will tick a couple of my personal boxes now.  My sister is a most creative cook, as you'll have discovered if you've followed the blog.  Lack of inspiration and a bare cupboard do not unsettle her.  She simply makes do with what's there.  She may have to rush out for tinned tomatoes now and then but usually she can can cobble together a wonderful meal from a few bits and bobs.

I offer you................ um, I'm not sure what it's called as it's a rather nice variation on tuna casserole and there is no pasta to sully the mix.

Let's just say Sweet potato, tuna and red pepper bake.

1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced or diced, whatever comes naturally and if you like squash then substitute an equal amount of squash for one of the sweet potatoes
1 red pepper, seeded and diced or (I had to do this) 1 roasted red pepper from a jar, chopped roughly
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried

Mix the veg together in an ovenproof dish and drizzle with a combination of 2 tsp each olive oil, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar

Cover with foil and roast at 180º for about 20 minutes.

While this is all cooking merrily, make a cheese sauce.  Everyone has their own proportions but I find that a roux of 25g each butter and flour to thicken 300 ml milk is a decent and not-too-runny version.  The amount of cheese depends on taste and the dish involved, but 100g grated cheddar, mild or sharp, won't overpower anyone or anything.

NOW you take your two tins of tuna, drain well, flake with a fork and place on top of the roasted veg.  Pour the cheese sauce over all and return to the oven for another 15 minutes until top is nicely browned and bubbling.

This recipe is enough for two very hungry people.  I'd add more veg rather than tuna to extend it a bit further.  And if you put some soft rolls or crusty bread with it, you might feed three very nicely indeed.

We washed it down with a white wine from Rhodes.  We were there in October and found one one very palatable local one and brought a bottle back duty free so no point in me telling you what it was as it's not available here.  But any nice light white will do.    


  1. This looks lovely. I'll try it soon. Rosemary

    1. This seems to be a fave with our 'anonymous' readers who then sign their names. Glad you've seen it now. Perhaps Pippa will keep you updated from time to time. Do try this one if you can. It's so dead easy and will expand or contract to feed one or a group. Thanks Mum. x

  2. Mummy and I are here together, reading the blog. She has written the note above all by herself. The recipe is from "Tin Fish Gourmet" by Barbara-jo McIntosh, Raincoast Books, 1998. One of my all-time favourite cookbooks.

  3. Got brave and read the blog, this recipe looks good, think I might try it - just for me, so one tin of tuna will do it!

  4. Thanks, Sunny. You could actually follow it and then you'd see all the various posts. My mother even posted which was a huge surprise! Yes, this recipe is great and so so easy. I'm looking out something different for this week. We need more sweet stuff and desserts. You can tell where our interest lies from what we post I guess.

  5. I might substitute tinned salmon for the tuna and try it that way - it does sound delicious! Like the pictures too, especially the one with the rogue basil leaf ;)