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Tuna Salad...Make it Fancy

Ok, stay with me-I realize tuna isn't exactly glamorous. Or fancy. Or even something people get excited about regularly. But I came across this spin on tuna salad that has become a spring/summer favorite and is easy to make with items you have on hand. It also pairs beautifully with a glass of white wine or fresh lemonade.

When you think of tuna salad, what words come to mind? Soggy? Mayonnaise? Or even more specific-Miracle Whip? More power to anyone who is totally content with a "classic" tuna salad. It can be great! But it can also be different-reinvented, even.

This recipe comes together in about 15 minutes without the help of the oven, stove, or anything else that's going to make your kitchen feel too stuffy during a warm spring or summer.

Here's a little ingredient spotlight:

Tuna: While this is a unique take on tuna salad, it shares the thing that all tuna salad has in common. It includes tuna. If at all possible, I'd encourage you to use tuna packed in olive oil. I prefer chunk light tuna, but if you like albacore (white) tuna, by all means use it! Tuna is a great option for protein, but also provides Omega-3 fatty acids. You will utilize the oil that is packed with the tuna for more flavor, so don't toss it or drain it into the sink after you open the can or pouch.

Capers: You may be thinking, "what even is a caper?" Well, if you've eaten them, you might know them as salty/briny flavor bombs. Technically they are unripened flower buds that get picked, dried, and either packed in salt or brined. They're often found in Mediterranean dishes. The flavor is reminiscent of a green olive, so you can absolutely swap them or use both. Nutritionally, capers contribute antioxidants, Vitamins A & E, and even some calcium. The fat in the olive oil and tuna will actually help your body absorb those fat-soluble vitamins. As usual, adding great flavor often has nutritional benefits!

Fancy Tuna Salad Makes 2-4 Servings, Inspired by Melissa Clark's Tuna Salad on 'The New York Times'

1 garlic clove

Juice of 1 lemon (about 2-3 tablespoons if you're using bottled lemon juice)

2 small cans (4.5 ounces each) canned tuna, preferably packed in olive oil

1/2 shallot

1 tablespoon capers

1 tablespoon parsley or arugula

Salt and pepper, to taste

Extra virgin olive oil to taste

Cucumbers, pita chips, or crackers, to serve

Add the garlic, shallot, and capers to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped (see photo below). Then add the remaining ingredients (through salt and pepper) to the food processor and continue to pulse until blended. Using the pouring spout on top of the food processor, drizzle in olive oil as you pulse until the tuna salad reaches your desired consistency.

Serve! I enjoy it with lots of crackers or pita chips, some cheese, fruit, and cucumbers. It also makes a great sandwich on toasted bread with arugula.



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