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Jun 3, 2009 09:44 AM

Bought Italian Tuna packed in oil - now what?

Reading more and more about the "greatness" of imported Italian tuna packed in oil, I bought a jar a month or so ago and into the pantry it went. It's a 5 oz (140 g) jar with 4 planks of tuna, each about 1x1x4 inches and maybe some smaller pieces in the middle.

I keep seeing it and think "Greek salad" only to argue "how boring is that?".

So what suggestions have you? I don't mind having to buy 3 or 4 add'l (perhaps specialty) ingredients, but would prefer them not be so specialized or in such quantity that they may be a one time use with more wasted than not. Since I want to enjoy the quality of the tuna, I'd prefer it not be overladen with an overpowering marinade or sauce. Maybe the salad is the way to go?

On hand, I have fresh herbs, feta cheese, a wonderful olive oil, roasted peppers, capers, olives (not Kalamata) and probably a few other items traditionally found in Italian/Greek foods.

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  1. Marinate some chopped red or sweet onion in red wine vinegar for 15 minutes or so, then drain off most of vinegar and mix the marinated onions with drained, rinsed cannellini beans, sea or kosher salt, pepper and/or pepper flakes and some of your wonderful olive oil. Put bean mixture on a bed of arugula or other nice greens and flake tuna on top. A few nice cherry or grape tomatoes and/or olives around the edge would be nice. One of my favorite hot weather meals!

    3 Replies
    1. re: GretchenS

      Slice those red onions, add s&p, tuna with oil, the rinsed cannellini beans, some capers, a squeeze of fresh, and sliced fresh basil. Serve on top of nice greens with great bread, and you have a wonderful meal.

      1. re: critter101

        I'll second this, it's a lovely dish! To make it even more traditionally Italian, soak the thinly sliced onions in a bowl of water for a little while, then wring them out before using them. It mellows the flavor nicely.

      2. re: GretchenS

        Ooops, that squeeze was fresh lemon...sorry.

      3. simple doesn't necessarily mean boring, and with such a great ingredient you don't want to do too much to it anyway. most people use it in salad, simple pasta dishes or tonnato sauce. salad is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it because you can really allow the tuna to be the star of the dish. i usually use it in a Nicoise or white bean (Cannellini) salad.

        some other ideas here:

        1. Boil baby red potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces. Add chopped red onion and chopped marinated roasted red peppers. Toss with extra virgin olive oil and sherry vinegar, salt pepper, and chopped parsley.

            1. Oh now I'm excited! You all are right on target with what I was hoping for - simple and delicious. I'll definitely be buying more tuna! Thank you!

              (It's only 1:00 here - I'm off to the grocery store to fulfill dinner plans)