gluten-free party appetizer tuna stuffed peppers

I must admit that I first heard of peppadews a few weeks ago when a friend offered me one after her visit to a local olive bar.  Peppadews are tiny little peppers that are mildly spicy and slightly sweet, with a complex flavor.  They are seeded and pickled and typically found in a jar near olives or on an olive bar.

As you may know, I love all things mini and am always looking for new bite-size appetizers to serve at my next soiree.  Stuffing them with a creamy cheese or tuna salad makes for a lovely appetizer.  This tuna stuffing recipe is inspired by Andrew Carmellini’s recipe in Urban Italian, and is packed with protein, flavor and tang.

The tuna can be made up to 2 days in advance, but the peppers should only be stuffed up to 2 hours in advance.  Stuffing 30 peppers takes about 10-15 minutes so it can be done right before serving.

I made these little tuna stuffed peppers for a picnic in the park, but they would also be perfect for any cocktail party – especially a retro-themed party, complete with deviled eggs, a port wine cheese ball and pigs in a blanket.

Tuna Stuffed Peppadew Peppers

10 oz. can tuna (in oil)

3 scallions, divided

1 Tbs. mayonnaise

1 Tbs. olive oil

1 Tbs. picking juice from peppadew peppers

Juice of 1 lemon

6 basil leaves, chopped

1 jar peppadew peppers (about 30)

salt and pepper to taste

Drain oil from tuna.  Combine tuna and 2 minced scallions in bowl (reserve additional scallion for garnish).  Add mayo and olive oil and mix until well combined.  Add peppadew juice, lemon juice and basil and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Using your fingers, stuff each pepper with tuna mixture.  Place stuffed peppers on serving platter and sprinkle with reserved chopped scallion.  Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 2 hours.