Best boat nibble - stuffed piquillo peppers

By Fiona Sims

Best boat nibble - stuffed piquillo peppers

Tuna-stuffed piquillo peppers

The Spanish are masters of superior tinned food, from meaty anchovies (Ortiz is a good brand), to more delicate Albacore tuna in extra virgin olive oil. It also does a great line in quality food in jars, from fat white asparagus, plucked from the plains of Navarra (try wrapping each stem in Serrano or Parma ham for another superior boat snack) to soft, nutty chickpeas, all of which will elevate your boat cooking in an instant.

My store cupboard is never without a jar or three of piquillo peppers. Piquillo means ‘small beak’ in Spanish, so-called because of their tapered points. They are grown in Navarra, in the north of Spain, and have a sweet, smoky flavour. Picked at the end of the summer and into the autumn, they are grilled over charcoal and peeled by hand. Some supermarkets stock them, such as Waitrose, or they are available online from Spanish food stockists, such as Failing that, use a jar of roasted red peppers, cut into inch-wide strips, which you can use to cover your tuna mixture.

pictures by the brilliant Julian Winslow

1 x jar (220g, drained) whole piquillo peppers – 12 in total

Albacore tuna in extra virgin olive oil (150g drained)

1 x 220g jar (150g drained) Albacore tuna in extra virgin olive oil

1 small shallot, finely chopped

1 tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped

3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

½ lemon

salt and pepper

To serve:

12 slices of baguette, toasted

sea salt

Place tuna, shallot, capers, parsley and olive oil in a bowl. Squeeze over the lemon, season to taste and stir to combine. Gently stuff the mixture into the piquillo peppers. Arrange the baguette slices onto a plate and top each one with a stuffed pepper. To serve, drizzle over a little olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

This is an extract from The Boat Drinks Book, published by Bloomsbury Adlard Coles Nautical on 20 April. To buy a copy go to, £16.99