Sicilian Style Tuna Salad with Capers and Olives Recipe

tuna with capers
milanfoto / Getty Images
  • 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

Some of the finest preserved tuna in the world comes from southern Italy -- tuna so good it would be a sin to mix it with mayo the way you would with regular canned tuna. This Sicilian-style tuna salad recipe relies on high-quality canned albacore tuna, lemon, capers and green olives. The pistachio nuts add an unexpected crunch. Want to make it even better? Poach fresh albacore tuna in olive oil yourself to make tuna confit. This Sicilian version of tuna salad is somewhat reminiscent of the French salade niçoise, which is another Mediterranean dish consisting of fresh cooked tuna, hard-cooked eggs, potatoes, green beans dressed in an anchovy vinaigrette.

What You'll Need

  • 1 pound top-quality canned tuna, or homemade tuna confit
  • 20 Sicilian green olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 chopped green onions or scallions
  • 2  tablespoons capers (rinse if they were preserved in salt)
  • 4  tablespoons finely chopped fennel stalks
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup top-quality olive oil, or oil left over from making the tuna confit
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts
  • Juice of  1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

How to Make It

  1. Flake the tuna into large chunks -- larger than typical canned tuna, but small enough to eat in one bite. Taste a piece. Does it need salt? If so, add a little, but remember, the olives and capers will be salty.
  2. In a large bowl, mix  green olives, green onions, capers, chopped fennel, oregano, parsley, olive oil and pistachio nuts. Check again for salt and add, if necessary, along with the pepper.
  3. The salad will store this way for a day or so in the fridge without losing quality. When you want to serve it, squeeze lemon juice over each person's portion and let it warm up at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.