It 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
3 Tbsp. champagne vinegar
1 clove garlic, pureed through the garlic press
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil
2-5 oz. cans tuna
10 kalamata olives, chopped
2 Tbsp. red onion, diced small
1 stalk of celery, diced small
1 Tbsp. capers
fresh ground pepper
• 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 in a couple tablespoons of salad dressing.
• store dressing in fridge for up to 4 days.
The Urban Baker / SusanSalzman.com