This deceptively simple Portuguese Tuna Salad is made with canned tuna, beans and cilantro, topped with a flavorful vinaigrette. Perfect for an elegant lunch or light supper, it will surprise you with its delicious and complex flavor profile.
I love book club. For so many reasons. First there is the camaraderie. Yes, nothing beats deep discussion and good wine for bringing out a woman’s best. Then there are the wonderful books—yes, we actually read them!
And finally, there is the food. Delicious on book club night–and a great source of new recipes for blogging!
Recently one of our members spent time vacationing in Spain and Portugal. She had a wonderful time including, of course, some fine eating! And for our April meeting she shared a delicious Portuguese Tuna Salad!
The salad of canned tuna mixed with beans and cilantro and lightly dressed with vinaigrette, delivered a complex flavor profile that took us all by surprise. Who would have thought such simple ingredients would produce such a hit!
Now, I must confess, I haven’t had tuna, other than sushi, in years. Time to remedy that I guess!
Both of us served the Portuguese tuna salad over lettuce, which was a perfect complement from both a flavor and nutrition perspective. With omega-3 in the tuna (see note regarding mercury levels below), mono-unsaturated fat in the olive oil, and fiber in the beans, you can’t knock its health value! And it’s as easy as it is tasty.
I think it’s going to be a staple in our house!
A note on mercury in tuna: mercury levels in tuna have resulted in eating restriction recommendations, especially for albacore tuna. See the EDF for more info. But there is some good news. Per Scientific American levels in some species (alas not most) seem to be dropping as our coal use decreases.
- 3 6-ounce cans water-packed tuna, drained (solid light if available)
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained
- 1 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley)
- Lettuce for serving
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 finely chopped shallots
- 2 cloves finely minced or “pressed” garlic
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- Combine dressing ingredients and set aside.
- Drain garbanzo beans and black-eyed peas, rinsing if needed. Drain tuna then combine with the beans, peas and cilantro (or parsley). Add dressing and toss to combine.
- Serve over lettuce.
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