In Italy, tuna fish salad doesn't get smothered with mayo and sprinkled with an afterthought of celery flecks. Instead, Italians dress meaty olive-oil packed tuna with lemon juice and zest and toss it with ingredients like creamy cannellini beans, juicy tomatoes and chunky pieces of crispy celery ribs and slightly bitter celery leaves.
If you don't mind splurging, look for imported oil–packed tuna from Italy or Spain that's sold in jars. It's twice the price but astonishingly delicious—especially here, as the tuna takes center stage.
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested (finely grated)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 jar or can solid white tuna, drained and flaked
- One 15-ounce can cannellini or butter beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 celery stalks with leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- Crusty bread, for serving (optional)
In a medium bowl, whisk the oil with the lemon juice and zest and season with salt and pepper. Add the tuna, beans, celery and tomato, and toss gently to combine. Serve with crusty bread.
Grace Parisi is a New York City-based food writer, cookbook author and food stylist. Her book, Get Saucy, was nominated for a James Beard award. Her latest book, Quick Pickles comes out in Fall 2016. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.