Appetizers & Sides · Main Events

Tuna tartlets

The Atwater Library in Montréal stands near the corner of St. Catherine and Atwater, an oasis of English in this French-speaking town. It’s a proper, old-fashioned library, with arched windows, marble floors, a reading room, and quirky librarians who still stamp the due date on slips in the books you borrow. Pure heaven.

It was there I found, a few weeks ago, a complete DVD set of Two Fat Ladies, my very favourite cooking show from the 1990s. The dears had no compunctions about butter, cream, and good red meat, and together they whipped up meals that were at once comfortingly cozy and immensely luxurious…like a fat feather duvet that you can wrap around yourself like a cocoon on cold winter nights.

Since it’s fish Friday tomorrow (at least it is for all of us who are observing Lent), I decided to make something inspired by one of Clarissa’s recipes: tuna tartlets. I just took them out of the oven and they smell delicious. Rich with egg and cheese, and of course, that meaty tuna, it promises to be a hearty treat for lunch. You can make them ahead and reheat them gently, or just eat them cold.

Tuna Tartlets

  • 12 mini tart shells
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 198-g can of tuna, drained and flaked
  • 4 tablespoons chopped black olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • splash of cream
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into 12 crescent slices
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Press the grated parmesan along the sides and bottom of each tart shell. Blind bake the tart shells according to package directions.

Sauté the garlic and onions in the olive oil. Add the tuna and olives. Season with oregano, salt and pepper. Cook until heated through, then remove from the heat and let cool.

Beat the eggs in a medium bowl with the cream. Add the cooled tuna mixture and mix well. Spoon into each tart shell. Top with a tomato slice and grated cheddar.

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350, until the cheese is golden and bubbly and the filling has set.

These make a nice appetizer, or serve as a main course with soup and/or a green salad. Bon appetit!

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