Shabbat Shalom! What a week. Let’s unwind with a recipe!
Juliet is reemerging here on the blog to continue with her theme of canned seafood, kicked off by her famous Clam Spaghetti. Trust me, you want to read on for this one! Juliet just pulled this out of her shapely behind one day and it blew my mind—it’s a tuna salad, but elevated to level: 10. Sweet and salty and crunchy and filling and versatile. Top shelf work. Take it away, Juliet!
Juliet’s Tarragon Date Tuna Salad
Since moving in with Daniel, certain aspects of the traditional husband-wife dynamic have infected my thinking with an unsettling quickness. For example, Daniel generally forgets to eat while he’s working on a project (read: continuously), and I, in my newfound wifely consternation, cannot allow this to happen.
Enter canned fish.
When I first arrived in Kingston, Daniel and I would crack open a can of sardines around 6pm and shovel them into our mouths, crushing a sleeve of Ritz in the process. For me, the pre-dinner snack was an indulgence; for Daniel, rather, it was a matter of survival, as he’d been sanding floors all day on an empty stomach. I realized that — for the good of the family — it would be wise to have something a little more exciting on hand so that my darling dizzy husband might be inspired to, ya know, do lunch.
I love a traditional deli tuna salad with mayo, but I like a fancy one even better. If you’re not a fan of tarragon, feel free to replace with fresh dill or thyme (or both). Any of the aforementioned herbs will complement the sweetness of the dates and the punch of the dijon and capers. If you use water-packed tuna, be prepared to compensate with more olive oil. This tuna salad is great on its own — or on Ritz crackers — but atop a bed of arugula with some shaved parmesan? Or as a tuna melt with gouda or gruyere? In a tomato with a sprinkle of Maldon? Honestly, your marriage counselor is out of a job.
2 ribs celery, chopped small
6-7 dates, pitted and chopped small
1 tbsp (heaping) of capers, roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, crushed and roughly chopped
Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
15-18 oz (3 small cans) of tuna packed in olive oil
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt and another 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper; more to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
In a large bowl, combine celery, dates, capers, and herbs. Add tuna. Stir in smoked paprika, dijon, S&P, and olive oil until well combined; taste and add more oil and S&P if desired.