Best Tuna Salad

Tuna salad.  The mere phrase is almost sure to conjure up images of crumpled brown bags and apathetic diner sandwiches.  But be of good cheer: tuna salad doesn’t have to be that way.  Made with a little time and some quality ingredients, boring tuna salad can become something that you’ll not only enjoy – it’ll become something you crave.  This method takes just a little more time than the average method of dumping some tuna, mayonnaise, and pickle relish into a bowl and stirring, but the results are so tasty that it’s completely worth it.  This salad can be enjoyed as a sandwich (as we’ve done here), or with crackers, on lettuce leaves, or as a filling for celery stalks.

Michael’s Best Tuna Salad

  • 2 cans of good tuna packed in oil.  I like Cento brand packed in olive oil – the tuna is tastier than regular store brands without being too expensive.  The Starkist pouches packed in sunflower oil are also good in a pinch.
  • 2 eggs, hard-boiled (method below)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons kosher dill pickle, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon shallots, minced
  • 1 tablespoon celery, minced
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon pickle brine or Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

To boil your eggs, place them in a saucepan and fill until eggs are covered by an inch of water.  Bring the water to a boil and allow to boil for 2 minutes.  Remove the eggs from the heat and cover; allow the eggs to sit for 15 minutes.  Transfer them to an ice bath for 5-10 minutes.  This slower method of cooking makes for a more luscious mouth feel to the whites and creamier yolks.  While the eggs are setting up, drain your tuna in a colander, then place in a mixing bowl.

When the eggs have cooled, separate the whites from the yolks.  Chop the whites as coarse or fine as you’d like and add them to the tuna.  Mix the yolks with the mayonnaise, capers, shallots, pickle, vinegar, pickle brine or mustard, celery, and just a dash of freshly ground pepper until the yolks are incorporated and smooth.  Stir this dressing into your tuna mixture until well blended.  If added crunch or texture is desired, add some diced apple, pecans, pine nuts, or walnuts and allow to chill for at least an hour in the fridge.  Serve on a crusty baguette with fresh greens and tomato – and enjoy!

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4 thoughts on “Best Tuna Salad

  1. Michael:
    Sounds like a great recipe. Where do you get the Cento Tuna? I’ll have to make up a batch. Love the idea of the Balsamic vinegar,capers and Dijon. Great dimensional flavor additions!

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