Oil Packed-Tuna, Avocado, White Bean, Almond and Arugula Salad

This almost doesn’t need a recipe, but the combination is so delicious and healthy, I had to post it.

Serves 4 and makes about 1/3 cup dressing
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 to 5 oz baby arugula
1/3 cup of lightly toasted slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans (white kidney beans)  canned is fine.
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
6 oz olive oil-packed tuna (preferably line or poll caught)
4 oz crumbled Greek feta cheese
1 medium ripe avocado, pitted and diced small

Whisk together the lemon juice, balsamic, Dijon, a pinch of salt and a couple of twists of black pepper in a small bowl until well combined.
Add honey to taste and slowly whisk in the olive oil until well combined.
Taste and add more salt, pepper or honey if desired.
* The dressing can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored in the fridge.
Arrange the arugula in a salad bowl and top with the beans, quinoa, tuna, feta, almonds and avocado.
Drizzle with half the dressing and serve, passing the additional dressing on the side

Curried tuna salad to put in sandwiches or pita pockets


Such a divine  filling for sandwiches or even just wrapped in a lettuce leaf.

2 cans (about 6 oz each) solid light tuna packed in olive oil, well drained and broken into large chunks
1/4 cup drained sliced pickled jalapeno peppers, chopped
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp best quality curry powder
1/4 cup diced celery heart
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Granny Smith apple, unpeeled
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Gently combine the tuna, jalapenos, mayonnaise, lime juice, curry powder, celery heart, red onion, raisins, apple, basil and salt and pepper to taste, in a medium bowl.
Serve with bread or pita pockets.

Tonnato sauce

This is one of the loveliest cold sauces to put over thin slices of cold chicken, turkey, veal or roasted red peppers. The lovely tuna flavor with the capers is really special and it’s very silky.

2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
Sea salt
2 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
5 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 7oz can good quality tuna packed in oil
5 anchovy fillets
3 tbsp capers, drained

For garnish
extra capers, thin slices lemon, pitted black olives, parsley leaves or anchovy fillets.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 1/4 tsp salt until pale yellow and the consistency of cream.
Beginning a drop at a time, add 1 1/4 cups olive oil, whisking continually.
As the mixture thickens, you can add the oil a little quicker. When it gets quite thick, whisk in 1 tbsp lemon juice.
Continue adding the oil until the whole 1 1/4 cups has been absorbed and the mayonnaise is quite thick and shiny.
Whisk in another tbsp of lemon juice.

Drain the tuna and put it in a food processor with the anchovies, remaining cup of olive oil, remaining lemon juice and capers.
Process until you get a creamy uniformly blended sauce.
Scrape the sauce into a bowl with the mayonnaise and fold to combine.
Taste for seasoning. It should be tangy and highly seasoned.
Refrigerate until needed


Grown-up tuna noodle bake

I can hear you thinking “Oh no, no way” but try it, it’s really tasty and is definitely a “grown-up ” version of that dreadfully dated American staple. It also freezes beautifully.

Serves 8

Butter, to grease the dish
12 oz fusilli pasta (or shells or wide noodles or whatever pasta you like)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups cremini mushrooms
1/3 cup minced shallots (about 2 large shallots)
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3&1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 to 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano (NOT pre grated!)
3 tbsp capers, drained
2 x 5oz cans chunk light tuna, drained of oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup thinly sliced kale or spinach
1&1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 375F

Butter a 2 1/2 to 3 qt casserole dish and set aside.
Cook the pasta until al dente in a large pot of salted, boiling water. Drain and set aside

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Add the mushrooms and shallots, cook for about 5 minutes or until the shallots are translucent and the mushrooms are beginning to soften.
Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 additional minute. Slowly pour in the wine, lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the flour to the pan and stir well to ensure all the mushrooms are coated.
Increase the heat to high and slowly pour in the milk, bringing the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring to avoid sticking or clumping, until the milk begins to thicken and starts to look more like a sauce, about 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta, parmesan cheese, capers, tuna, flaked, sour cream, chopped kale or spinach, thyme, salt and pepper.
Pour the creamy mushroom sauce into the bowl and stir to coat all the ingredients.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle in the breadcrumbs and cook until fragrant and slightly toasty, 2-3 minutes.
Sprinkle the crispy breadcrumbs over the top of the casserole and bake for 20 minutes or until the top is lightly brown.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle chopped parsley on top.
Serve hot.

Cover and refrigerate the leftovers for up to 3 days or freeze immediately.


Tuna melt canapes

These are the grown up version of tuna melt! Delicious and very more-ish so make a lot.
Curry powder, raisins and chutney pair nicely with cheddar cheese in this dressed up version of “tuna melt” canapes. This recipe only serves 2 but it’s easily quadrupled!

2 -3 tbsp good quality mayonnaise
1&1/2 tbsp raisins
1tbsp mango chutney, chopped  (I use Major Grey brand)
1/2 tsp medium curry powder
1 x 5oz can tuna packed in oil, drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste
2 slices good quality white bread or sourdough, crusts removed
2 thin square slices of mature cheddar cheese
8 x 1″ pieces of fresh chives, optional

Heat the oven to broil and arrange a rack about 10 inches from the heating element.
Combine the mayonnaise, raisins, chutney, curry and tuna in a bowl and season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Cut each slice of bread and cheese into 4 triangles. Spoon the tuna mixture on top of the bread pieces and top with the cheese.

Broil the triangles until the cheese is melted and bubbly. About 3 to 5 minutes. garnish with the chives and serve with a good stiff drink!


Tuna tapenade

This is one of Ina Garten’s recipes and is delicious as a quick starter to put over toasted crostini.
I beg you to use Italian tuna in olive oil, not American tuna, as it has twice the flavor.

Makes about 36 crostini full.

10 – 12 oz canned Italian tuna packed in olive oil
2 tsp anchovy paste
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp minced fresh flat leaf parsley, plus extra for garnish
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
2 large cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp)
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsp good olive oil (plus extra for brushing the bread slices)
1/3 cup Italian mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
1 tbsp drained capers
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
36 slices French bread sliced diagonally

Drain all but 1 tbsp of the oil from the tuna then flake the fish into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
Add the anchovy paste, thyme, lemon zest, garlic and  parsley and pulse a few times.
Add the lemon juice, 3 tbsp olive oil, and the mascarpone cheese and process until smooth.
Add the olives, capers, salt and pepper and pulse just to incorporate.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap  and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile heat a grill or use a heavy ridged flat pan. Slice the French bread diagonally and brush with olive oil and put on the grill until lightly browned. You can also put the slices on a sheet pan and roast at 400 F for about 6 minutes or until toasted.
Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
Mound the tapenade on the toast pieces and sprinkle with the extra chopped parsley and serve on a large platter.