Tinned fish wins quarantine. It seems like all the big cooking outlets are waxing poetic about beans right now, but I just want salty canned fish packed in oil. It keeps for years, it’s cheap, it’s not beans, and it delivers serious flavor. Did I mention it’s not beans? Anchovies and sardines can be a little intense, but just about everyone likes tuna. So here is a rainbow tuna salad for your non-bean enjoyment.
Quarantine cooking requires a little more leeway for substitutions, and this recipe lends itself particularly well to swapping one thing out for another. Tuna is kind of a must, but the only other real requirements in this recipe are elements of crunch, zing, fat and salt. So if need be, swap the mayo for sour cream, the lemon juice for white vinegar, and the celery for fresh asparagus. Just about anything goes.
My least favorite thing about tuna salad has always been its appearance. Who wants to eat a pile of pale mush? So I livened up the traditional tuna salad recipe a bit with some of my favorite colorful veggies, and kept those veggies separate from the tuna mixture until serving. The colors in this rainbow tuna salad come from tomatoes, kalamata olives, avocado, red onions and celery.
Of course, you can always mix all the salad ingredients together – it’s going to taste just as good. Serve this rainbow tuna salad with my prosciutto pea salad for an extra serving of green veggies, or my roasted garlic potato soup if you’re looking for something comforting. Enjoy!
Rainbow Tuna Salad
For the tuna
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 cans tuna packed in oil, drained
- Salt and pepper (white pepper, if you have it)
For the salad
- ⅓ cup celery (about 2 small stalks), chopped (see note)
- ¼ cup red onion, chopped
- ½ cup grape/cherry tomatoes, chopped
- ½ cup avocado, chopped
- ⅓ cup kalamata olives, chopped
- 1 head iceberg, romaine or butter lettuce, leaves separated and torn into palm-sized cups
- In large bowl, mix lemon juice, yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard and garlic well with a spatula or a spoon. Taste mixture and add salt and pepper as desired. Add parsley and tuna, breaking up the tuna into small-ish flakes. Use a fork if need be.
- Here’s where you can choose your own adventure: You can either mix the remaining ingredients (except the lettuce) into the tuna mixture or mix them separately (again, excepting the lettuce). Mixing all the components will allow the flavors to marry, but leaving them separate will allow the colors to pop.
- Next, assemble your salads on the lettuce leaves by spooning about ¼ cup mixture onto each lettuce cup. (If you chose to mix the ingredients separately, place 2 tablespoons of each mixture on each lettuce cup.)