Tuna salad the way it was meant to be: simple, fresh and refreshing. This is the perfect tuna salad recipe for a hot summer day… whether spilling over the edges of crunchy baguette or perched atop a juicy tomato and crisp lettuce. All we have are clean, fresh ingredients. Stick with me to learn how to make this wonderful summer salad.
This tuna salad is gluten free, paleo, low carb and incredibly refreshing.
Tuna Salad how it was meant to be.
I love tuna salad. This is a new recipe which is modeled from a delicious salad enjoyed at a beach side restaurant nestled next to the Mediterranean. It was the perfect day with a light, sea stained breeze and soft waves. I sat with my family under a white canvas awning, enjoying the temporary respite from the pounding Provencal sun. Caroline and I enjoyed a cool glass of rosé from Cassis. The stage was set for a delicious lunch and it didn’t disappoint. My tuna salad was like no other tuna salad. It had artichoke hearts, tomatoes and fresh herbs. It was light, almost dancing across my tongue. The tuna flavor was perfectly balanced with the herbs. I knew that I needed to try to recreate this awesome recipe at home.
I have now made this recipe four times. The first attempt was close, but heavy on the capers. My next attempt was spot on in my mind, but Caroline let me know that the tuna was a bit dry. The third time through I served it to five guests who have never eaten at our house before… not a drop was left in the bowl. I just had to make it one more time to photograph and share with you. My family thanks you for reading so they can enjoy some of these recipes time and again.
This tuna salad takes the best of what the summer season offers and melds them all together. Fresh herbs, tomatoes, peppers, artichokes, lemons and shallots…everything is in season. Everything wants to be put with one another to make a delightful tuna salad that you, your family and your guests will love.
How To Make Tuna Salad
It’s really easy to make a big bowl of tuna salad. Here are a couple tips that will help to make it outstanding:
Tip 1: The day before you are going to make the tuna salad, place the cans in the refrigerator to cool. Tuna salad is always best chilled. By placing the cans in the refrigerator you’ll be ready to eat right away.
Tip 2: If you are working with room temperature tuna, don’t worry about it. Once you have made the tuna salad, place it in the freezer. Stir every 5 or 6 minutes. It should be nice and cold in about 20 minutes.
Tip 3: I use whole tuna in water. I find that you get a nice piece of tuna rather than some unidentifiable stuff in a can. I like using the albacore in water so I can control how much oil goes into the salad.
Tip 4: Use fresh herbs. Dried herbs will not taste the same in this salad. If you don’t have all the herbs that the recipe calls for, double up on what you have. It will still be wonderful without all 4 herbs.
Tip 5: Let’s take a quick look at the olive oil. I use standard olive oil for this recipe. Extra virgin and other first press or expeller pressed oils tend to have a strong flavor. If you like that flavor, go ahead an use what you have on hand. I want a good tuna flavor without the bitterness of the oil, so tend to move toward less flavorful oil.
QUICK COOKING TIP: First, make sure that your tuna is drained well. Too much of the tuna water will impart an overpowering flavor which we really don’t want. After it is drained well, break up the tuna in the bowl prior to adding any of the other ingredients. We are going to be adding delicate ingredients like artichoke hearts and tomatoes. There really is no way to avoid pulverizing these ingredients if we try to break up the tuna after they are added. It is nice to get a whole piece of tomato or a zesty caper in a bite. Try to maintain their integrity!
Ok… time to get to this fine kettle of fish.
A perfectly simple and delicious summer Tuna Salad Recipe. Utilize the bounty of the season with fresh herbs, tomatoes and red peppers. Yes.
- 2 Large Cans Tuna in water, drained well
- 1 Cup Fresh Tomato, seeded and diced
- 2 TBSP EACH Cilantro, Basil, Parsley, Chives
- 1/2 Cup Red Pepper, diced
- 1/4 Cup Shallot, diced fine
- 1/2 Cup Marinated Artichoke Hearts, chopped
- 2-3 TBSP Capers, rinsed
- 2 TBSP Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 TSP Kosher Salt
- 1/4 TSP Fresh Cracked Pepper
Break up the tuna in a large bowl.
Add in remaining ingredients and mix. Taste. Adjust the seasonings. Taste again.
Serve chilled on a fresh green salad or as a sandwich.
Rinsing the capers will reduce the briny flavor, leaving just the zippy caper.
If the tuna salad tastes dry after you mix everything together, add in ¼ cup more olive oil. Mix again and see if that works. Some tuna is more dry than others!
Not bright enough on your palate? Add more lemon! Still not bright enough? Try ¼ TSP of balsamic vinegar.
Final thoughts on this fresh Tuna Salad:
As I mentioned, I love tuna salad. You can check out my low carb tuna salad recipe (it’s the most searched recipe on the site!) or my no-mayo tuna salad which is packed full of mediterranean flavors. If you need another type of lunch salad to make for an upcoming event, my egg salad recipe is a home run.
I hope that you try this non-traditional style of tuna salad. I promise that you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy and happy eating!