Select 24 whole peppers. (Refrigerate any remaining peppers in a jar, with brine to cover, for another use.) Cut off and discard the pepper stems. Scoop out the seeds with a small spoon (a measuring teaspoon works well). Rinse the peppers to remove any residual seeds, and set in a colander to drain.Advertisement
Combine tuna, lemon juice, oil, capers and anchovies (if using) in a medium bowl.
Fill each pepper with about 1 teaspoon of the tuna mixture and place them on a serving plate. (Depending on the size of the peppers, you may not fill all 24.) Grind some pepper over the stuffed peppers.
Bring vinegar to a boil in a very small saucepan and simmer until syrupy and reduced to about 2 teaspoons, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Drizzle the syrup over the peppers.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate stuffed peppers and balsamic syrup separately for up to 4 hours. Drizzle the peppers with the syrup just before serving.
Shopping tip: Look for red and/or green jarred mild (or sweet) cherry peppers near pickles and olives or at the “olive bar” in well-stocked supermarkets and specialty-food stores.
Note: Chunk light tuna, which comes from the smaller skipjack or yellowfin, has less mercury than canned white albacore tuna. The FDA/EPA advises that women who are or might become pregnant, nursing mothers and young children consume no more than 6 ounces of albacore a week; up to 12 ounces of canned light tuna is considered safe.
1/2 lean meat