Nov 13, 2008

Tuna Deluxe

I’m usually pretty laid back when it comes to food. As long as I can’t still perform CPR on it or have it look back at me from my plate (really not a sushi girl here) I’ll eat almost anything. However, I’m a very picky eater when it comes to salads.

When it comes to egg salad, I usually stick to my own recipe. I’m even worse when it comes to tuna salad. I love it though, spooned on a warm, toasty ciabatta! There’s no better lunch than that.

This is the tuna salad that works for me. Got the recipe from a friend and tweaked it a little. I really like this combination of flavors even though it’s slightly unorthodox. Lots of different things going on in this one, but everything comes together beautifully making it a pretty interesting salad to eat.

Disclaimer: if you don’t like onions, you might want to skip this recipe!


1 can tuna
1 spring onion
red onion
green olives
dried basil


1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp coarse mustard
salt pepper


Best purchase ever – cheap glass bowls in all imaginable sizes. Grab one and grab your measuring spoons.

How I adore my measuring spoons. I’m not entirely sure how, why and where it all started, but I literally became addicted to measuring spoons ever since I started volume cooking. Always looking out for new spoons. Homage to my measuring spoons!

Sorry ’bout that. Had to get it out of my system!

Back to the bowls. Pour in 1 tbsp olive oil and top that with 2 tbsp mayonnaise (I’m actually using a diet version here). Also add a tsp coarse mustard, a good pinch of salt and pepper and whisk until you have a smooth, creamy dressing.

Slice a small piece of red onion. Depending on how much you like it, you can up or tone down the quantity. I went for roughly 1/4 of a small onion.

Finely chop a spring onion. Or are they called scallions?

Grab a small handful of olives (8 to 10). I’ve used the ones stuffed with pimento but that was mainly for color, it doesn’t have that much flavor, I think. Finely slice them.

Rocket science! Open up a can of tuna, drain it and put it in a bowl. Now don’t mash everything up, keep a little texture in there.

Now add all your chopped ingredients and put in a really good pinch of dried basil as well. I’ve used close to 1/2 tsp. I was surprised to find how well basil works with tuna.

Spoon your dressing on top and carefully fold everything together. Please, please don’t turn it into a liquid substance, it’s just so unappealing. I know fish has to swim, but does it have to be in dressing? Show it some respect, just grab a glass of white wine! :)

Squeeze in a little fresh lemon juice.

I prefer eating tuna salad on warm ciabatta. As soon as it comes out of the oven I slice it, grab a garlic clove, cut it in half and rub both sides of the ciabatta with the clove. This will give the bread a light garlic flavor. Just enough to make a difference but not enough to be an overtone.

My tuna sandwich always has cucumber in it, the combination is really great. I’m sure you can do this with lettuce as well, but I’ve eaten so many tuna salads on cucumber slices as a low carber that those two are now simply inextricably connected to each other. Just place some thin slices on your bread and spoon the tuna salad on top. I like to finish it with a few thin cucumber match sticks on top.

Now this is a very, very rich ciabatta with quite a bit of filling. You might want to consider sharing it with someone :)

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    1. 1

      Agree with you that the tuna mixture shouldn’t be “drowned” in the dressing.

      The picture of your tuna sandwich is making me very hungry now. :-)

      Piggy on Nov 13, 2008 @ 1:31 pm Reply
    2. 2

      New combo to try! – looks and sounds wonderful. I never know what to call the green/spring onions, scallions either…

      Oh, your recipe for ciabatta is where????

      Happy Thursday or Friday – not sure about time/date difference either. I’m in northwest US and it is Thu a.m. here.

      Ann from Montana on Nov 13, 2008 @ 2:24 pm Reply
    3. 3

      I’m just never sure what word to use, they only have one name in Holland :)

      I’ve never been brave enough to try my hand at ciabatta. Certain things are too hard to replicate, I guess. It would be a challenge, though.

      It’s Thursday 3pm here now and I’ve just finished painting the living room ceiling. It’s gonna be a long weekend filled with lots of paint on my hands here!

      Have a great day, Ann!

      Kay on Nov 13, 2008 @ 3:55 pm Reply
    4. 4

      I love a good tuna sandwich. We just had tuna melts with dill Havarti on rye!

      Donald on Nov 13, 2008 @ 4:55 pm Reply
    5. 5

      Oh, darn (re the ciabatta recipe) – I thought since you said “warm from the oven” that maybe you made your own. Actually, there are 3 wonderful bakeries locally that make wonderful ciabatta and I can buy direct plus one supplies my favorite grocery. I do make some of my own bread – I work from home so have the opportunity and find it relaxing…you know, punching that dough!

      Good luck on the painting – ceilings not my favorite, but what fun to have everything fresh when you are done!

      Ann from Montana on Nov 13, 2008 @ 5:43 pm Reply
    6. 6

      I wish! I buy the ‘pre-baked’ ones that you only have to pop in the oven for 10 minutes. Stores here are closed at night and on Sunday,this way I always have ciabatta around when I need it.

      I do have a recipe up for Rosemary & Garlic Focaccia.

      Horrible job, but has to be done every now and then. Hard but rewarding work. The walls are next. Going to use magnet paint first, so I can actually use my wall as a huge photo frame :)

      Kay on Nov 13, 2008 @ 9:19 pm Reply
    7. 7

      Awww so maybe there is hope for me. I use a recipie similar to this for myself. No green olives, add a little mustard. Sorry I love mustard not a big fan of mayo, but you can’t have tuna salad without a little mayo. I didn’t even think that putting those ingredients together would qualify as a recipie! Actually, every once in awhile when I make tuna salad I tend to add whatever fresh veggies and herbs I have on hand.

      Heather W. on Nov 14, 2008 @ 5:36 am Reply
    8. 8

      Nice…no celery!

      Jeff D on Nov 17, 2008 @ 6:30 pm Reply
    9. 9

      Jeff, it seems we have the same issue … I also dislike celery and love celeriac :)

      Kay on Nov 17, 2008 @ 6:31 pm Reply
    10. 10

      Ooh, yum. I love tuna sandwiches and am always looking for a way to make the differently, so they avoid boringness. I will certainly have to try your version, and soon. I just discovered your blog and it is lovely, lovely, lovely. Already added to my RSS reader. :-)

      laura k on Nov 18, 2008 @ 2:43 am Reply
    11. 11

      followed a link from the pioneer woman’s site… this recipe looks delicious. I love the storyboard-style photos you’ve used – they look lovely.

      jennie on Nov 18, 2008 @ 5:28 am Reply
    12. 12

      Oooh, yummy and yes, I like lots of onion :)

      I am drooling here……..

      Marcia Francois on Nov 18, 2008 @ 11:20 am Reply
    13. 13

      My husband and I both love tuna salad. Can’t wait to try this!

      I’m so glad you had a guest appearance on PW’s site…Your photography is great! You’ll probably be swamped now that we are all coming over from your post…Have fun! :)

      Steph on Nov 18, 2008 @ 3:32 pm Reply
    14. 14

      Steph, I’m having lots of fun :)

      Thanks for the compliment! Just let me know if you like it, ok!

      Kay on Nov 18, 2008 @ 4:50 pm Reply
    15. 15

      Oh Now this looks so good. I can’t wait to try it!

      Sarah S. on Nov 18, 2008 @ 9:21 pm Reply
    16. 16

      I love your tuna salad sandwich. I never thought about using olives. Normally we just add finely diced apple as they something we have on hand as they are such good keepers. I have a recipe for ciabatta but haven’t made it since we moved to Alaska. I think I am going to have to make up a batch of mayo and dig around for a can of tuna to make this up over the weekend. May even dig out the ciabatta recipe! I can’t wait to try it!!

      I love your storyboard pictures! It makes it so much easier for those of us on dial-up.

      Peggy on Nov 20, 2008 @ 1:17 am Reply
    17. 17

      So delicious!

      I made an assortment of sandwiches for the super bowl and your tuna sandwich was the first to go. Everyone loved it and asked me to make more! Thank you so much for sharing. I can’t wait to try your Egg salad next.

      Brianna on Feb 2, 2009 @ 6:39 pm Reply
    18. 18

      Wow, I am a foodie from way back. Sickly male child and had to stay at home on the grandparents farm and learn to cook rather than dig taters. LOVE your site. My partner has spent one of his vacation days on your site and since I have been home from work he has done nothing but run about the kitchen saying “love the dutch girl!” and now ripping apart a cauliflower by hand….is there a hidden meaning to this? I am told soup will give the answer to this. Love the tuna recipe we add to ours for a crunch that doesn’t disappear about 2 tbsp of Grape Nuts cereal. Yes those little nuggets that never seem to soak up any liquid work pretty good for a little surprise…Can’t wait to try yours and other recipes.

      Alvin Cummins on Aug 27, 2009 @ 1:23 am Reply
    19. 19

      The noodle places in town here make nice sushi though! I hate the ones that have the horrible orang salmon in them but here they have ones with tempura prawn, teriyaki chicken, egg and spicy tuna :D
      I have a feeling I’m making this for dinner tonight too :P

      Shannon on Mar 26, 2011 @ 7:59 am Reply
    20. 20

      I spend my Sunday’s in the kitchen cooking and prepping healthy lunches and dinners for the week. I was very pleased with this recipe. I have always made tuna salad with a TON of mayo to mask the overwhelming taste of the canned tuna. Now that I am trying to eat healthier, this was a great spin on a classic. The only thing I changed was the red onion…mine seemed very strong, so I used 1/8 cup chopped. Glad I did! It would have been overkill for me. The cucumbers add a wonderful spin as well. I suggest to anyone reading this, whatever you modify, make sure to leave those cukes in! You wont be disappointed.

      Linda on Mar 14, 2012 @ 3:23 pm Reply
    21. 21

      Wow, amazing tuna sandwich! Why do I never eat tuna on ciabatta bread? So good. I love green onion but left out the red and added radishes. Can’t wait to make this again!

      Crissy on Apr 25, 2017 @ 2:29 am Reply

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