The mister thought he would fill me with envy - he called me from his hotel room in Knoxville to say he was changing into his new orange shirt for the big game...He lives for UT football...that would be the University of Tennessee...not Utah. His excitement was genuine, but I had to burst his bubble, as I had already been to an exciting football game, with a very handsome young man as my date! My 10 year old neighbor escorted me to the Eastlake High School football game last night - it was like Friday Night Lights meets Big World, Little People, meets The KarTrashians. And I loved every minute of it! I don't recall anyone in my high school dressing like some of the kids I saw last night...barely there shorts and tops...on girls who can't yet drive but look like they're 25?!
The mister may be in a stadium that seats 100,000 plus the Holy Trinity, surrounded by rabid fans who bleed (and vomit) orange, but there is no way he will have had as much fun as I did. First, let me remind you, we never go out on Friday night. Never. The mister, who likes to say he puts up with people all week so he's entitled to a night off, has always guarded his Friday evenings...and, being a dutiful wife, I usually stay in, too...So to go out on a Friday night sans the mister and discover there is life after 6:00 pm was nothing short of miraculous!
My thanks to Michael Tantillo...he's the best date a gal can have! Oh, and Eastlake beat Seattle Prep 34 to 0. And while Eastlake's cheerleaders were good...their Dance Team was even better...YOU WERE GREAT MIA!!!
Now, let's talk tuna. It's not my favorite thing in the world, not until it's paired with couscous, shallots, Feta cheese, capers and tossed with lemon and olive oil then stuffed into a fresh tomato...then it's my go-to-lunch week in and week out. It's that good...worthy of eating 52 times a year. And it's healthy, high in protein, with no sugar...practically a diabetics dream.
While I make this throughout the year, this is my favorite time of year to enjoy it, for lunch or dinner, because the tomatoes are so good! Fresh heirloom tomatoes are everywhere now, but just for a few more weeks and then we'll be back to eating tasteless maters that always cost more than they should!
You can buy couscous at most grocery stores, but make sure you get the Israeli or Pearl (large) variety, (Whole Foods always has it). You can use fresh tuna, if you want, but I use canned tuna (white albacore tuna in water) because it's easier.
That's a 7-inch plate - so you can see I used a rather large tomato...this is definitely a meal! It's not only the perfect lunch, but the perfect weeknight dinner, plus it would be great to serve for a ladies lunch or shower, and with a piece of crusty bread and a cup of soup, it'll keep your caveman happy.
Tuna and Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes - Pots and Pins
1 cup couscous, Israeli/Pearl variety, cooked according to package directions, drained, cooled
2 cans (7 oz.) white albacore tuna in water, drained
1/4 cup diced shallot
1/2 cup diced English cucumber, unpeeled
1/2 cup (packed) fresh mixed greens (Romaine, spinach, kale, iceberg - whatever you like)
1/2 cup Feta cheese crumbles
2 Tablespoons capers, drained
1 teaspoon black pepper
juice from 1 large lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
4 large beefsteak tomatoes, cored, cut into eighths
Optional ingredients: Sometimes I add celery and Kalamata olives to the mix, and fresh basil and/or tarragon is always good, too, but this is my basic recipe, feel free to add whatever you like - it's very adaptable!
Prepare tomatoes, removing stems, coring and cutting into eighths, but not cutting all the way through the bottom of the tomato. Turn upside down on paper-toweling to drain. In a large bowl, combine cooked and cooled couscous with tuna, cucumber, greens, cheese, and capers. In a small bowl combine lemon juice, olive oil and pepper. (Don't add salt until you taste as the capers are quite salty.) Pour dressing over tuna mixture, toss to coat. Stuff tomatoes with mixture, dividing equally between them. If you want to skip the tomato, you can! This is great on a plate all by itself! Serves 4 with tomatoes, serves 6 without.