When I was in elementary school, I came home for lunch every day. And every day I answered my mother the same way when she asked me what I wanted for lunch – tuna. I’m all grown up but I STILL love tuna – only the solid white albacore please. Of course, my tastes have become somewhat more sophisticated and I have learned that in the Mediterranean you can eat tuna without mayonnaise, celery and lots of lemon. This dish is simple to prepare and you will likely have most of the items in your pantry already. Any leftovers can be wrapped and frozen to be eaten at a later date. And who doesn’t love something baked in a muffin tin? They are so pretty! All it needs is a fresh salad (mine is arugula with toasted walnuts, shaved paremesan, shallot, cucumber and a bit of slivered jamon) and some good bread. A glass of a lovely wine wouldn’t go amiss and would turn this very inexpensive weekday meal into something special. This would also make a lovely brunch option.
Tuna Spinach Tortas adapted from a recipe on the Genova Tuna website
Yield: 6 Jumbo muffin-size tortas (Can be doubled)
10 ounces of frozen spinach, preferably from a bag not a box
Two 5 ounce cans of tuna packed in oil (I used white meat tuna but you could use any kind you like)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese plus a couple of Tablespoons
1/2 cup of unseasoned panko bread crumbs (mine were whole wheat becasue that was what I had)
1 bunch scallions, white and light green part only, thinly sliced OR 1 large shallot finely chopped
2 Tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley or cilantro
10 Kalamata olives, chopped
12 small cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped
7 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt and cracked black pepper or Mrs. Dash to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray the wells of the muffin tin with Pam or a neutral oil
- Place the frozen spinach in a strainer and run hot water over it, using your hands to break it up. Place the drained spinach in a tea towel or several layers of a strong paper towel and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. (REALLY squeeze!)
- Drain the tuna, discarding the oil. Combine the tuna, 1/4 cup of cheese and panko in a mixing bowl, stirring well so that everything is evely distributed. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and fresh cracked pepper. If it looks a little dry, add about 1 Tablespoon of EVOO.
- Divide the tuna mixture among the muffin wells and using the back of a spoon, pack it firmly.
- Crack the eggs into the mixing bowl that you used for the tuna. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and lightly beat. Making sure that you have gotten rid of as much liquid as possible from the spinach, add it and the other ingredients to the eggs, mixing thoroughly.
- Divide the egg mixture over the tuna in each muffin well and lightly press it down. Sprinkle a bit of extra grated cheese on top of each torta. Bake for 20 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Slightly cool in pan and then using a thin spatula, carefully lift out each torta.