Today’s recipe for Albacore Chopped Salad makes me smile for many reasons. First, I simply adore this salad, and have ever since we introduced a version of it at our restaurant, Sarello’s, many years ago.
I love it in its original form, tossed with chopped Romaine lettuce, or with our recent addition of avocado – both as an edible vessel for serving and as an ingredient in the salad. My favorite way to enjoy this salad is on a thin piece of toast over mashed avocado.
Second, this salad is gorgeously healthy – the colors and textures blend together so perfectly to create an irresistible desire to indulge.And go right ahead – indulge. Because this salad is loaded with ingredients that are naturally designed to enhance your health.
Both light and albacore tuna are good sources of protein, selenium and vitamin B12, and albacore has even better omega-3 fatty acids than other tuna varieties. But, it also has a higher mercury content, so keep your indulgences to once or twice a week if you can.
Lastly, I smile because I thought I hated canned tuna. For my entire life, I have shied away from dishes that contained canned tuna, mainly because most of them also contain mayonnaise. As an avowed mayo-phobe, I just couldn’t go there.
But this week Tony and I have featured two post-holiday detox dishes with canned tuna as a main ingredient (and no mayo – whatsoever), and I’m enjoying every bite. I think you will, too.
Serves: 4 as a side dish; 2 as an entree
1 can cannelini beans, drained (about 15 oz.)
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
⅓ cup celery, sliced (half-moon shape)
¼ red onion, thinly sliced – the thinner, the better
1 ½ tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 5 oz. cans solid Albacore tuna (drained) or 1 12 oz. can
1 avocado, medium-diced
1 bag of chopped, clean romaine lettuce
Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette Ingredients:
1 egg yolk
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
Pinch of sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup olive oil
Combine egg yolk, lemon, garlic, sugar, and salt in a bowl. While whisking slowly, add olive oil in a thin stream, always whisking to emulsify. Incorporate all oil, taste, and adjust seasoning as desired.
Add salad ingredients to the dressing and stir so that vegetables and tuna are evenly coated. If making in advance, add the lettuce just before serving and toss to mix.
Tips from Tony and Sarah:
- Vinaigrette can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.
- A tablespoon or two of Dijon mustard or real mayonnaise can be used instead of the egg yolk and will extend the life of the dressing up to one week.
- For a light lunch, mash up plain avocado to spread on thin toast and top with albacore salad, with or without lettuce.
- For an elegant presentation, peel half an avocado and fill with albacore salad – omit the lettuce for more elegance.
- To speed up the ripening process, place avocado in a paper bag with a ripe banana or apple for 24 hours.