This is a great little appetizer to whip up at a moment’s notice. Smear it on a bland, buttery cracker, and you think it’s perfect. But stuffed into one of the little sweet-hot round peppers that you can find on the olive bar…you know the ones, it’s stupendous. Most of us have canned tuna in our pantries. And if you don’t have capers and anchovy paste (or anchovies), well you should. Usually there’s a lemon around, as well as scallions or fresh chives. And then some good olive oil and that’s about it. I used ricotta in this version, but it is best when you do use the mascarpone cheese. Mascarpone, in terms of soft cheeses, is like crack for me. It’s so rich and nutty and the texture is positively sexy! I digress.
Toss everything but the oil and the mascarpone into the food processor, give it a really good whirl. Since I used ricotta in this batch, I threw it in with everything else. It behaves differently than mascarpone. I let the machine run for awhile until the mixture lightens both in color (from the air being whipped into it) and texture (same reason!). Then, with the motor running, I drizzle the oil in through the lid. Whirl it up again, for at least 30 seconds, then scrape down the sides of the processor bowl, add the mascarpone and whirl it up again, just until the cheese is completely incorporated, about 15 seconds. Pour the mousse into a container and chill for at least 4 hours. The mousse has a tendency to taste salty when you first try it, but after it chills for a few hours, it evens out. That’s why a bland cracker works best. This is also excellent on carrot “coins” and celery sticks. I stuffed some little sweet peppers; I think their called “Little Sweeties”. You know the type; you can purchase them in jars or on supermarket olive bars. It’s a great little appetizer and placed on top of a salad, are a wonderful little surprise. If you enjoy tuna salad at all, you’ll love this.
- 3 5-ounce cans water-packed albacore tuna, well-drained
- 1 scallion, coarsely chopped
- 2-3 teaspoons anchovy paste or 2-3 small anchovy fillets, drained
- 2 tablespoons small capers, rinsed and drained
- 1-2 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon apple-cider or white wine vinegar
- Grated zest of 1/2 lemon (Meyer lemon is particularly nice)
- 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Dash ground celery seed
- 2 tablespoons very flavorful olive oil
- 1/3 cup mascarpone or ricotta cheese
Put all the ingredients except the oil and mascarpone, in the bowl of a food processor with a sharp blade. Whirl until well mixed and smooth. Whip it for at least 1 minute. With the motor running, drizzle the oil in through the top. Continue to whip for at least 30 seconds. Add the mascarpone; whirl again just until mixed. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper and additional lemon juice if needed. Place in another container, cover and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. This mixture will keep for several days in the fridge.
NOTE: This is excellent served with roasted peppers wrapped around the mousse or stuff the mousse into a small roasted or pickled pepper.
Tuna-Caper Mousse Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2016. All rights reserved.
It was delicious for breakfast, on toast, with mashed avocado. It really was (notice the past tense!). The Middle Son smeared some on a toasted onion bagel. He looked happy, so it must have been to his liking.
Isn’t that just too easy? Easy is good, either in time spent or in virtue! Smear it on something and enjoy!