Summer Lunch

Tuna Salads

Nothing like a good old tuna salad for a light summer lunch, right?

By Robb Walsh July 31, 2013

Tuna salad is a summer lunch tradition. But canned tuna seems to have gone out of style. The trendy tuna salads I've been eating lately come with fancy tuna and a high price tag.

Order the $18 nouvelle Nicoise at Brasserie 19, and you get a bed of peppery arugula, crunchy baby green beans, fingerling potatoes and sliced cherry tomatoes. But instead of the traditional canned tuna, the salad is topped with five rectangular slices of slightly-seared ahi drizzled with a slick black olive tapenade. Half a deviled egg stands in for the plain hard-boiled one. I used to drink iced tea with my tuna salad, but this one seemed to call for a glass of classic French white wine from Sancerre

The $15 Tuscan kale and tuna salad on the lunch menu at Coppa is made with the oh-so-popular super greens, croutons, golden raisins, pine nuts and “tuna conserva.” While I liked the rare ahi tuna in the nouvelle Nicoise at Brasserie 19, I also have to admit a nostalgic fondness for canned tuna. Coppa’s tuna conserva is a welcome compromise—it tastes like a richer, moister version of canned tuna without the cat food smell. The waiter told me that the chef broke down whole tuna and slow-cooked some of the fish with olive oil to make the conserva. I got a glass of crisp Cusomano Insolia, a fruity Sicilian white wine, to go with this tuna salad.

I am still on the look out for tuna salads. Got any recommendations?


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