As a sandwich filler or a salad topper, tuna is a star. Open the can, drain, and mix with a couple of staple condiments and you are good to go.
So, this is not a rocket-science post. But the way I make tuna salad is better than average. There are two reasons. One is a tip I learned in high school from one of my longtime besties — who is now Leandro’s godmother– and one is a secret of my own.
The first is ketchup, which cuts some of the fishiness with a bit of sweetness and zing. I got that one some after-school afternoon in the early days of MTV, when Marianne’s family had cable (an “A-ha” moment, for those of you who remember. Or it ” Buggles” the mind to think about?) so we’d dash home to snack and watch the same three videos in endless loop…
The second secret is replacing half the mayo with nonfat plain yogurt which lightens it up and gives it a nice tang (I also do this with potato salad).
These days sustainabilty and food safety are big issues, so I don’t eat as much tuna as I used to (the sustainable kinds being comparatively expensive). But I’ll stray from cheap on this one and let you know I buy Wild Planet which is troll- and pole- fished and got a passing grade from Greenpeace rankings in Canada (I couldn’t find U.S. rankings). Wild Planet says it has more Omega-3s and less mercury that other brands; I choose to believe it, because that is the most convenient thing to do.
UK readers can visit MongaBay.com for ratings of tinned tuna.
Additionally, for American readers, the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Pocket Guide is a printable wallet-guide to good seafood choices that I find invaluable.
Tuna Salad (two servings)
5 oz. can tuna packed in water, drained
½ medium onion (white onion is very nice here), chopped fine
1 celery stalk, minced
1 Tbs mayonnaise
1 Tbs nonfat (or lowfat) plain yogurt
1 tsp prepared mustard
½ tsp ketchup (or to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
(Additional optional ingredient suggestions – ½ tsp minced sundried tomatoes in oil, 1 small carrot, minced, hard-boiled egg chopped; ½ tsp tiny capers; 1 tsp minced olives; ½ tsp minced pickles)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Serve on salad or in sandwiches.