Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mediterranean tuna salad

I don't normally post lunch stuff, but I was talking about this dish on a message board earlier in the week and someone requested that I make a post about it, so here you go!

This salad is a product of my unmitigated hatred of the standard tuna-and-mayo-type tuna salad. I like tuna by itself, but it's kind of dry and bland to eat just a packet of tuna on some lettuce for lunch. It needs some acid, some fat and some salt, so I gave it all three, plus a little sweetness to boot. I like this salad because it's not only super-quick but actually healthy as well - high protein, good fats, low carbs, gluten-free, magically delicious - it ticks all the boxes. Plus you get a good dose of greens, which never hurts.

Note: if you can find a really good Italian oil-packed tuna, use that and skip adding the olive oil listed further down in the recipe. Also, if you find said Italian oil-packed tuna, please send me some because it's amazeballs and I can only find it once in a blue moon around here.

Another Note: Kalamata olives are Greek cured olives. They're available in most bigger supermarkets nowadays. If you're lucky enough to have a market with an olive section and can get nice fresh (ie: not jarred) Kalamatas, it's totally worth the extra expense and the little extra time it will take you to pit them. They're fabulous. The jarred ones packed in brine work perfectly well too, though.

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

3.5oz of tuna (I use the kind in the pouch. If you used canned, just make sure you drain it well first)
juice of half a lemon
olive oil (a good extra-virgin if you have it, but even plain is pretty good)
Kalamata olives (green olives work well in this, too)
jarred roasted red pepper
salad greens

I just kind of do this to taste, so I've never measured anything. Helpful, as always, right?! I chop up the olives and red pepper, toss it with the tuna, add lemon juice and olive oil to taste, toss again, and then pile it on top of a heap of salad greens and nom away.

Variations: sometimes I chop up pickled banana peppers and add those as well. They're pretty vinegar-y, so I back off on the lemon juice if I add them. If you like capers, you could easily add some of those. Marinated artichoke hearts are good in this, too.