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Salad Nicoise- kind of tuna?

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  • pronek Aug 17, 2005 09:46 AM
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There's a great recipe posted below by doctor_mama for Salad Nicoise, where she recommends using canned Italian tuna. Any particular brand anyone would think would be best?

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  1. I know there are some very fancy canned or jarred Italian tunas out there, but I just always go for what I can find in my local supermarket, and that's Progresso. The most important thing is that, whatever tuna you choose, it be packed in olive oil, not vegetable oil or water. It's crucial to the flavor.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Deenso

      Also that it is not the white type. It does not have enough flavor.

      1. re: Deenso

        Nothing fancy about Genova. Our local grocery carries it. It is cheaper at the local Italian produce store and TJ's however.

      2. Though it's not Italian, As Do Mar is a terrific brand.

        1. I use Genova Tonno.

          1. Just as good as Italian tunas are Spanish ones, especially Flott. Olive oil packed for either is the way to go tastewise in my opinion (world of difference between the oil and water packed)

            1. I use As Do Mar as well, I think it's from Portugal. It's verrrry pricy, though. I've made it with all different types of canned tuna, from Starkist to Italian to Spanish to Portugese. The best salad, I find, however, is made with tuna I cook myself. It's not very difficult and tastes deelish.

              I put the kitchen sink into Salade Nicoise - potatoes, tuna, green beans, arugula, hard-cooked eggs, basil, tomatoes, cukes. Sometimes I put some stalish, toasted bread on the bottom of the serving dish and pile salad on top...you then get a sort of panzanella (sp?) when it soaks up some of the salad dressing juices.

              1. I've never used canned tuna for salade niçoise, even though I know you're supposed to. Fresh tuna, seared.

                11 Replies
                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  NO NO NO NO NO!!

                  Fresh tuna is totally incorrect with this. It's almost as bad as using fresh tuna for Vitello Tonnato - an abomination, a heresy, a big fat no-no, and a trap I've seen supposedly sophisticated people fall right into. Canned tuna in olive oil is its own special food in its own special category, and these dishes were devised using that and that only. If you want to make a salad with fresh tuna, you are of course free to do so. Just don't call it "Nicoise", please.

                  You may as well make brandade with fresh cod...!

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    Amen!

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Have you tried canning your own tuna for this dish?

                      1. re: Pablo

                        I have used my cousin's tuna "jarred" tuna freshly caught and packed off the coast of California near Eureka. I wish she'd give up her day job and spend the rest of her life jarring tuna for me alone. But noooooo, she's so selfish she puts her husband and kids before me!

                        1. re: oakjoan

                          Hi. Do you know how she jars her tuna? I would like to try it but can't find any instructions. THanks.

                      2. re: Will Owen

                        What he said.

                        1. re: Seattle Rose

                          Absolutely! Canned, oil-packed tuna is the way to go. Versions using fresh, seared tuna: fresh, yes; authentic, no.

                        2. re: Will Owen

                          Given the dishes masquerading as authentic (chopped olives != tapenade, as an example), this is not exactly a huge leap, but you are correct, traditional salade niçoise has canned tuna.

                          Problem is, I hate preserved tuna. Packed in water, packed in oil, packed in salt, packed in moon dust, I don't care, it all tastes horrible and fishy and salty and disgusting. Thus, I use fresh tuna.

                          Better for me anyway, don't need all that oil.

                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                            You do not therefore like Salade Nicoise. No harm in that; I would excuse myself from any discussion of a proper Isle Flottant because I cannot abide sweet custard, and don't care much for meringue. Don't care for any sweet cooked egg preparation, in fact. Just a quirk of my tastebuds. So I opt out and address the topics that coincide with where my personal sun shines.

                          2. re: Will Owen

                            How 'bout if we call this here dish "Salad Antiboise"? or "Pas Exactement Salade Nicoise"?

                            1. re: oakjoan

                              "Salade Niçoise Occidentale"
                              "Salade Niçoise Gâchée"
                              "Salade Niçoise Pour Ceux Qui Ne Savent Pas Ce Que C'est"
                              "Salade Tout A Fait Anti-Française"
                              "Salade North-Hollywoodaise"

                        3. Skip the expensive canned tuna and buy fresh ahi or albacore instead.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Pablo

                            No question. Genova tuna. Gold can. I eat it right out of the can.
                            Trader Joes sells this at a reasonable price.

                          2. My fave is Flott's ventresca (tuna belly). Very rich and flavorful, worth the extra $.