Friday, August 3, 2012

Mediterranean-Inspired Tuna Salad

Have you ever thrown something together based on a-little-of-this, and a-little-of-that, and whatever-else-I-have-on-hand?  That's where this recipe came from... it's got some of the flavors of a Ni├žoise salad (olives, lemony vinaigrette, and tuna of course), but feels generally Mediterranean in flavor.  I've made it several times in the past few months, and serve it tucked into a pita, served open-faced on crusty bread, or with a plateful of crostini for scooping.

Also, this is fantastic made a day in advance, so that the flavors can mellow and meld, making it an ideal brown-bag lunch idea.  I like serving it in my small Ball jars for easy transportation, and just because it looks pretty.

Mediterranean-Inspired Tuna Salad
Makes 2 servings, plus extra vinaigrette

1  5 oz. can tuna packed in olive oil
10 - 12 cherry tomatoes, diced
4 - 5 good black olives, chopped (or more, to taste - I pick up a variety from my market's olive bar)
3/4 t. small capers, chopped finely
1 t. chopped flat leaf parsley
Lemon vinaigrette, recipe follows

Divide ingredients into two 1 cup containers - I like to layer the tuna, followed by the tomatoes, followed by the olives, with the capers sprinkled over.  Then, spoon 1-2 T. lemon vinaigrette over the mixture, and top with parsley.  Seal and refrigerate until ready to serve - this can be done up to two days in advance; and I prefer to let it sit at least overnight.

Lemon Vinaigrette
1/2 small shallot, very finely minced
1 t. country-style Dijon mustard (with seeds)
2 T. lemon juice
4-5 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/8 t. salt
A few grinds of freshly ground pepper

Mix all ingredients into a lidded jar & shake well until combined.  Use immediately or store refrigerated for up to a week.

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