Tuna Salad with Radish and Fennel

May 28th, 2009 § 1 comment

I eat in restaurants regularly, and I love cooking big meals for friends. But when I’m home alone, this is the kind of thing I like to eat.

If the only canned tuna you know is the watery stuff, I’d like to introduce you to its Mediterranean cousin, which is packed in olive oil. The large chunks are delicious right out of the can or jar, and there’s no question that this is fish, not fowl. Spanish and French, and Italian brands can be found. Just try to avoid bluefin tuna, whose stock is on the verge of collapse after years of overfishing.

Toss it with thinly sliced radishes, shaved fennel, garlic and shallot, loads of parsley, a few salty olives and a generous squeeze of lemon. Serve it with grilled or toasted bread, and you have a perfect warm weather meal.


Tuna Salad with Radish and Fennel

1 clove garlic, minced

2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 T white wine vinegar

3-4 T olive oil

1/4 c thinly sliced shallot or red onion

1/4-1/2 c shaved fennel

6-8 radishes, thinly sliced

1/4 c black olives, pitted and roughly chopped

10 oz tuna packed in olive oil, drained (see notes)

1/2 c fresh parsley leaves, lightly chopped

salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a bowl big enough to hold all of the ingredients, stir together the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss gently.

2. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. It might need salt, or an extra splash of lemon or vinegar.

3. Serve immediately. You can also refrigerate it for later, but the veg won’t be as crisp.

Serves 2

Notes: I used a 10 oz (300 g) jar, but don’t sweat it if you can only find an 8 oz can, or some other size. This is a salad, after all, not a cake, and you can adjust the quantities to your taste and budget. Serve the salad with toasted or grilled bread, or on a bed of crisp romaine or butter lettuce.

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§ One Response to Tuna Salad with Radish and Fennel

  • Bobby Jay says:


    You inspired me to make a very similar salad, made (apart from the tuna) with only fresh organic produce from Union Square. I added some fantastic cucumbers and boiled ratte potatoes. (Like a niçoise without green beans and hard-cooked eggs.)I had not seen rattes in this country before so I was excited, and they were very good, but quite not as good as the ones in France. In time, maybe.

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