Chopped Tuna Salad

by Susan Salzman

salad.tuna_.chips_.jpgIt took me a long time to appreciate tuna salad.  I have mentioned before my disdain for mayo so eating tuna salad was not something I craved or ate much. For me, it was always a lot of lemon, some chopped red onion, a bit of olive oil, and fresh, ground pepper. I was perfectly happy with it.

One of my college friends was from Laguna Beach. One weekend, I went down to spend the weekend at her parents beach front property. For lunch, she suggested tuna. I got a little nervous. Tuna equates to mayo. I wanted to be a gracious guest, but come on – tuna? Then she started chopping cornichons, kalamata olives, and red onion. She added some olive oil and a whole lemon. I was relieved.

I loved the idea of adding all of my favorites; olives, pickles, onion, and added a few of my own; celery, capers, and my favorite classic Dijon vinaigrette. Not only is this salad dressing great on a simple salad with boston lettuce and some chopped egg whites, but it’s perfect with tuna and great on a grain salad.

I have been eating my tuna this way since 1980. My kids treat it like a dip. A side of chips to scoop up the yummy chunks of tuna and a glass of whatever fresh fruit soda we have on hand and they are satisfied for hours.


Classic Dijon Vinaigrette and Tuna Salad
Yield: 3/4 cup

3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 clove garlic, pureed through the garlic press
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil
6 cornichons
10 kalamata olives, chopped
2 tablespooons red onion, diced small
1 stalk of celery, diced small
1 tablespoon capers

Chop tuna in a wooden bowl. Add chopped cornichons, olives, celery, red onion, and capers. In a glass jar, combine the vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Slowly add the olive oil and whisk. Mix into tuna mixture a couple tablespoons of salad dressing.

Dressing can be stored in fridge for up to 4 days.


Susan Salzman writes The Urban Baker blog to explore her dedication to good food in the hope of adding beauty to the lives of her family and friends.     


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