Make Ahead

Not Agnes' Tuna Salad Sandwich

January 27, 2015
Author Notes

I have a thing about mayonnaise: it’s disgusting. I offer no apologies for this, if I wanted to eat spoons full of soybean oil, I’d go buy some soybean oil at the supermarket. Of course, this doesn’t apply to the good stuff – that homemade mayo consisting or raw milk and farm fresh eggs. I’ve yet to secure another raw milk hookup since mine died last year from being old enough to have signed the birth certificate of the baby Jesus (RIP Agnes, your scotch-soaked, foul-mouthed advice will always be missed ). Barbarians don’t run the farm I get eggs from. Likewise, they give the hens the cool season off because chickens aren’t supposed to lay eggs all year. Duh.
Regardless: I’m adverse to things like mayo in slaws, tuna and chicken salads, and the like. I like a cleaner, lighter and brighter taste and texture where you feel like you’re actually eating tuna instead of glopping scoops of mayo with tuna and company mixed in. This tuna salad recipe answers the calls for substantial texture, outrageous flavor, and (not usually something I give a second thought to) calorie count . Using a combination of canned and frozen veggies as well as some fresh stuff, this delicious tuna salad can be had year round. Born of the south, having never really travelled, and used to traditional southern cooking, Agnes would have rejected this stuff as “not even good enough for the damn pigs to eat.” This recipe uses olive oil instead of mayo, and eschews almost all of the traditional ingredients of tuna salad for a clean, refreshing product that is so delicious, you’ll have a second sandwich.

  • Makes 6 oz. (about enough for 4-6 sandwiches)
  • 1 cup Frozen spinach, thoroughly drained of water.
  • 1 Clove garlic, very finely minced.
  • 4 Marinated fire roasted red pepper, roughly chopped.
  • 1 cup Flat leaf or curly parsley, roughly chopped.
  • 1 teaspoon Dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed red pepper flakes to taste.
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh basil, (Dorot brand frozen basil cubes work great for this.)
  • 1 teaspoon Organic raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 5 Oz can of Albacore Tuna packed in water.
  • Good extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Sea-salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
  • 1 Baguette, or other crusty bread.
In This Recipe
  1. Heat a medium saute pan and add some olive oil. Saute garlic until fragrant.
  2. Wring (with your hands) as much as the water out of the spinach as possible. We want to control the amount of moisture as much as possible. To that end, dump the tuna out in a colander in the sink or over a container to drain.
  3. If using curly-leaf parsley, add to the pan and wilt, slightly, before adding the spinach, peppers and spices. For flat leafed, add in with all the other vegetables and spices.
  4. The point here isn't to cook the vegetables, but rather to "wake them up." Remove from heat after four or five minutes.
  5. While veggies are still hot, using a fork combine with tuna and adjust seasoning. Add olive oil and mix until thick, creamy consistency is reached.
  6. Hit with a splash of the vinegar, taste and adjust.
  7. Cut the bread sandwich-style, drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven or on a pan until a crisp crust surrounds soft insides.
  8. Apply tuna salad mix liberally to toasted bread slices and enjoy with your favorite soup, salad, or television show.

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