If you’ve gotten caught up in bulk buying ever since stay-at-home orders came into effect, you might find yourself with a pantry full of canned fish.
There’s a forthcoming cookbook just for you.
The Tined Fish Cookbook :Easy-to-Make Meals from Ocean to Plate—Sustainably Canned, 100% Delicious is by Bart van Olphen, a sustainable fishing advocate based in Amsterdam. He’s the founder of Fish Tales, which works with fishermen and small-scale fishing companies all over the globe to raise awareness of nature-friendly seafood and related practices.
If you need a health reason to consume more ocean-safe fish in tin form, consider that canned tuna is a good source of essential nutrients, such as brain-benefitting omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids as well as high-quality protein, selenium, and Vitamin D.
Check out the Ocean Wise Seafood Guide for types of sustainable tuna, and if you have concerns about mercury levels in canned tuna, read Health Canada's information on the subject. (Nutshell: it's generally safe because the fish used in canned tuna products are typically younger and smaller and therefore have significantly less mercury than fresh or frozen tuna, People who consume large amounts of canned albacore tuna may be exposed to levels not considered acceptable. The advice does not apply to canned light tuna, which is considered safer since it usually has other species that are considered lower in mercury.)
Canned salmon, meanwhile, is abundant in protein, vitamin D, calcium (from the bones), and omega-3s.
Sardines, herring, and mackerel are also considered to be rich in omega 3s, vitamin D, and calcium when the bones are eaten.
Among the recipes in Tinned Fish Cookbook, which due out in May, are Anchovies with Tomato Confit on Toast, Mackerel Asparagus Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette, Pasta Puttanesca, Salmon Pizza, Smoked Herring Shakshuka, Smoked Mackerel Lentil Salad, and Tuna Fritters with Tzatziki.
In advance of his new book hitting store shelves, van Olphen has shared a recipe with the Georgia Straight.
This one would make for a terrific meatless Monday or Earth Day starter for two.
Tuna and Olive Stuffed Romano Peppers
1 small red onion, diced
1 small garlic clove, minced
12 shiitake mushrooms, chopped
Half a 2-oz (45 g) tin of anchovies, drained
One 5-oz (140 g) tin of tuna in olive oil, drained
2 tsp capers
5 black olives, halved
2 Romano peppers, halved
2 tsp panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Heat a splash of olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the red onion, garlic, and shiitake mushrooms until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the anchovy fillets and let them “melt” in 2 minutes. Finally, mix in the tuna, capers, and olives and cook for a few more minutes until warmed through.
Meanwhile, brush the halved peppers with olive oil and place them in an ovenproof dish.
Remove the tuna mixture from the heat, fill the peppers with it, and dust with panko. Drizzle some extra olive oil on top and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp and done.
Scatter the lemon zest and the parsley over the peppers. Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve.
Recipe from The Tinned Fish Cookbook: Easy-to-Make Meals from Ocean to Plate—Sustainably Canned, 100% Delicious © Bart van Olphen 2019, 2020. Translation © The Experiment, 2020. Reprinted by permission of The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. experimentpublishing.com