AUGUST 9, 2011


It took me a long time to appreciate tuna salad.  I have mentioned before my disdain for mayo so eating tuna salad was not something I craved or ate much. For me, it was always a lot of lemon, some chopped red onion, a bit of olive oil, and fresh, ground pepper.  I was perfectly happy with it.


One of my college friends was from Laguna Beach.  One weekend, I went down to spend the weekend at her parents beach front property.  For lunch, she suggested tuna.  I got a little nervous.  Tuna equates to mayo.  I wanted to be a gracious guest, but come on – tuna?  Then she started chopping cornichons, kalamata olives, and red onion.  She added some olive oil and a whole lemon.  I was relieved.

I loved the idea of adding all of my favorites; olives, pickles, onion, and added a few of my own; celery, capers, and my favorite classic Dijon vinaigrette. Not only is this salad dressing great on a simple salad  with boston lettuce and some chopped egg whites, but it’s perfect with tuna and great on a grain salad. I have been eating my tuna this way since 1980.  My kids treat it like a dip.  A side of chips to scoop up the yummy chunks of tuna and a glass of whatever fresh fruit soda we have on hand and they are satisfied for hours.

Classic Dijon Vinaigrette and Tuna Salad

yield: 3/4 cup

3 Tbsp. champagne vinegar
1 clove garlic, pureed through the garlic press
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil
6 cornichons
2-5 oz. cans tuna
10 kalamata olives, chopped
2 Tbsp. red onion, diced small
1 stalk of celery, diced small
1 Tbsp. capers
fresh ground pepper

• chop tuna in a wooden bowl.
• add chopped cornichons, olives, celery, red onion, and capers.
• in a glass jar, combine the vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper.  mix well.  slowly add the olive oil and whisk.
• mix in a couple tablespoons of salad dressing.
• store dressing in fridge for up to 4 days.