Italian Tuna Salad
A mayo-free version of one of our favorite foods.Katie Workman mayo free, tuna, tuna sandwich
Serving Size: Makes 6 sandwiches, or serves 6
I don’t know that I would have made this for my family had we not been stuck in the house during an icy rain lock down day. It was one of those moments where you take your life, or at least your vertical status, in your own hand by merely walking outside. I felt very badly for the dog, who needed to not only go outside but to do his thing outside on a day like this.
I also felt bad for the person who has to take him thusly (including myself) at 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. in particular.
Do you have some ingredients that you use so often, and depend on so much you can’t imagine running out of them? I have a lot of them. Things that I lay in ridiculous supplies of that might make you think I am running a small restaurant. Popcorn kernels, olive oil, pasta, rice, vinegar, mustard….it’s a very long list, actually. And on that list is mayonnaise.
This story is getting long and quite boring, but (I’m almost done), the impetus for this new recipe was that I was (spit it out, girl) shockingly out of mayonnaise. But I had cans of tuna (another full on staple). So the usual tuna salad that I make for my family, the one in The Mom 100 Cookbook, was not going to happen.What happens when you run out of mayo but really want tuna? This happens.Click To Tweet
I happen to love Italian tuna salad, tuna bound together with a lick of olive oil, jammed with onions and capers and olives and the like. But would everyone else? Springing a new version of an old favorite on a group of housebound people is risky business. And the tuna fish sandwich is kind of sacrosanct in our house. (Don’t even get me started on the tuna melt, which elicits lots of love and strong opinions)
Mercifully the answer was yes. And mercifully this little intro tale is now at a close.
Which Tuna to Buy:
If you buy the tuna in oil, you’ll still want to drain it, and add fresh extra virgin olive oil, but you’ll may want to start with 1 tablespoon. Also, I happen to love the mix of white and light tuna together, and prefer to buy my tuna in water, but you may have different feelings about what kind of tuna you prefer, and how you like it packed.
Italian Tuna Salad will keep for 4 days in the fridge. Also know that if you store the tuna for a day or more it might dry out a bit as the tuna absorbs the dressing, so it might need a splash of olive oil to loosen it up. Or if you want it tangier, even a splash of vinegar, too.
Other Sandwich Friendly Salads:
- 2 5-ounce cans solid white tuna
- 2 5-ounce cans chunk light tuna
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes drained if in oil, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes then drained if dried
- 2 shallots minced (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- ½ cup green olives with pimentos
- 1 tablespoon capers drained
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or more if desired
- Drain the tuna and place in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- In a food processor, pulse the sundried tomatoes, shallots, spinach, olives, capers, pepper until roughly blended. Then add the red wine vinegar and olive oil and pulse until combined. Add the dressing to the tuna and toss until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more olive oil if it looks dry.
- Serve a scoop of lettuce, or on green salad, or make this into sandwiches.