My culinary contribution for our collective time in Covid19 Quarantine starts with a can of your favorite tuna. Yes, Tuna. My first and only disclaimer, if you don't like a crunchy meal, stop reading this post now. Nothing in this tuna salad recipe is not crunchy, well one ingredient is. So beware of the crunch. And every ingredient has a story.
You need fresh red radishes, also known as superfood, they are very healthy. Fresh celery, sweet pickles, golden raisins, yes they have to be golden and a fresh crisp apple. The quantity you see in the picture above is what I used today for an 5 oz can of tuna, hence a very crunchy tuna salad. All the ingredients should be chopped in small, small pieces and thoroughly incorporated with the tuna in a bowl.
The tuna needs to be dry, so whatever your favorite brand is be sure to drain the liquid well. Make sure you crack some fresh ground pepper on the tuna before adding the other ingredients, you want that pepper on the tuna and not the other ingredients. And be generous with the pepper.
When I first started making tuna salad long ago, when I was in college in the San Fernando Valley, at Cal State Northridge, my recipe was basic. Back then it was tuna, celery, and a bit of mayo. I used to always have a few saltine crackers to go with the tuna, saltines were a staple in my pantry in those years. Not anymore.
Over the years, I added the golden raisins because of my Grandmother Chichi from Panama. I added the sweet pickles because of Liz DeRoulet's suggestion. She makes the most amazing potato salad with pickles, so I borrowed the idea from that dish. The red radishes were added after I stayed with Tichi in Panama during a few visits after my Father passed. Tichi ate beautiful fresh red radishes almost every day and I learned to appreciate their flavor and all the packed vitamins and nutrients. The crisp apple came as of late, my sister Ana includes fresh apples in most of her salads, so why not. Trust me when you mix all of these together, you get a very fresh, crunchy, refreshing tuna salad. It's a carnival for the palate.
You have to have fresh cracked pepper and also quality mayonnaise, not too much, not too little. And the final secret ingredient, again from my friend Liz, add a tablespoon or two of the liquid from the jar of pickles. Every so often I will add a shake or two of hot sauce, this provides a hint of mystery in the overall salad.
You can serve this tuna salad in many ways. The tuna salad has to be cold; it will compliment any bed of lettuce, any wonderful piece of bread, preferably toasted, any and all crackers, or simply by the spoonful.
If for any reason you don't like tuna, substitute the tuna with chicken tenders. And the better the pickles the better the overall taste.
Trust me on this recipe combination, I've never had complaints and the overall recipe is mostly healthy.
Buen Provecho ! !