Spanish Tuna Salad With Roasted Red Peppers

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Well Friends, we have our first official recipe from Spain today! This tuna salad with roasted red peppers is one of the first things we ate when we visited, and is now a weekly staple– they serve it at the beach bars near our house! When we head to the beach after Jeff gets home from work and before dinnertime, we order this and a garlicky potato salad to hold us over. (Yes, I think I’ll feature the potatoes soon, too!)Tuna SaladI love this Spanish tuna salad because it’s different from the types I have usually had– i.e., lots of tuna blended in with finely chopped or saucy ingredients, so that each bite tastes exactly the same as the next. There’s nothing wrong with the standard combinations, but this feels a lot more sophisticated, while being easier to make at the same time.

What I am discovering about the food where we live is that it’s really simple and rustic. Many dishes have only a handful of ingredients, and are minimally fussed with. Even the style of eating is different– one item is usually eaten at a time, with bites from different dishes rarely mixing. This is the opposite of how I generally serve food, but I feel like it’s a chance for me to learn some new things about cooking and eating.

Back to the salad. This is my version of what we get on a little plate at the beach. I have added at least one extra ingredient (parsley), and if I was not trying to practice some Spanish culinary restraint, I could have added more– I’ll suggest some ideas at the end for how to embellish a bit.Tuna Salad with Roasted Red Peppers

Spanish Tuna Salad With Roasted Red Peppers

What You’ll Need:

  • two roasted red bell peppers, skins removed (yes, you can use store-bought)
  • 1 medium-to-large white salad onion  sliced in half and cut crosswise, to make half-rings
    (Alternatively, you can use a regular yellow onion and soak the slices in water for half an hour, for the milder onion flavor we’re after.)
  • a 5 oz. tin of tuna packed in olive oil (here’s a sustainable brand I can recommend)
    This recipe will also work with mackerel, if you like, and sardines would be lovely as well.
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil– the fruitier, the better
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
    In a pinch, you can substitute red wine vinegar, but it won’t be quite as smooth. I love sherry vinegar, and highly recommend that you try it!
  • salt and pepper to taste

What to Do:

  1. Cut or pull apart the roasted peppers into 1/4 inch strips, and place them in your serving bowl.
  2. Add the sliced onions.
  3. Drain the tuna and carefully remove from the tin– you want to keep it in bigger chunks.
  4. Top with the parsley, and drizzle with olive oil and sherry, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Tenderly, mix the salad a bit so that the tuna and peppers and onions are somewhat evenly distributed. Again, easy does it, because you don’t want the tuna to disintegrate into flakes, but to stay in bigger chunks.
  6. Taste it, and adjust seasoning– vinegar and salt, in particular.

If you’d like, you can serve all of this on top of a bed of lettuce, to make it a fuller, more traditional salad. You’ll want to add more olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper for this, of course. You could also add one or all of the following: chickpeas, shaved fennel, arugula or cucumber. Enjoy!IMG_3424This is great as leftovers. I had it for lunch today (prepared and photographed and served at dinner yesterday) and it was so good, having had the time for the flavors to mingle a bit more.

I am so thrilled to be working with more Mediterranean flavors and ingredients. I feel like I have so much to learn (and share) and just can’t wait!

Tell me: Is there a Spanish dish you’d love to learn to make, or an ingredient you’d like to learn to use? Maybe I can track it down for you, and we can learn together!Spanish Tuna Salad with Roasted Red Peppers

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34 Responses to Spanish Tuna Salad With Roasted Red Peppers

  1. Pam May 6, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

    This sounds amazing! I have recently been diagnosed with PCOS and am trying to re-learn how to eat to best heal my body. This means I need to say goodbye to gluten and dairy. I’m always on the lookout for delicious meals that are fast and easy that fit the bill. I’m excited to try this! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • ariana May 14, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

      I hope you like it, Pam! And I am wishing you well on your healing journey!

  2. Laurel May 6, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    This looks so fresh and pretty I just want to dive right in!

    • ariana May 14, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

      Happy to hear that! 🙂 I hope you give it a try– it’s great on a warm day.

  3. naturalfitfoodie May 6, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

    Just lovely Ariana! The Spaniards have certainly taught me how to appreciate the beauty in ‘simple’ foods. Even paella which seems so complicated is actually quite easy. Thanks for sharing..:)

    • ariana May 14, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

      Yes, I’m a fan of simple! 🙂 Looking forward to learning more, for sure!

  4. How We Flourish May 6, 2015 at 8:46 pm #

    First recipe from Spain! Exciting! This looks super yummy.

  5. HolisticHealthHerbalist May 6, 2015 at 9:49 pm #

    Hand me a spoon! This looks totally awesome! I’ve got some homemade pickled onions just waiting to be used and I bet they would be really good with this 🙂

    • ariana May 14, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

      Yes, I think pickled onions would be great with this.

  6. naturallyloriel May 8, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

    I love this twist on classic tuna salad!

  7. Willa May 9, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    Thank you for sharing! I stumbled upon your blog while perusing Whole30 recipes on Pinterest. My husband is in the NG and we have been dreaming about Rota. I look forward to learning more through your posts!

    • ariana May 14, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

      Ooh hope you can make it out here– it’s awesome! We’re still new, so there is a lot to learn and share. Glad you found me!

  8. makecomplete May 11, 2015 at 4:18 pm #

    Hi Ariana! So excited to read your dispatches from Spain 🙂 One of my favorite dishes from my visit there was morcilla. It sounds pretty gross – spiced pigs blood pate – but I surprised myself by loving the flavor, and unusual meat-related dishes seem to be up your alley! I also miss tortillas de patatas – con todo mi corazon 😉


    • ariana May 14, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

      I like morcilla, too! Always assumed it would gross me out, but it doesn’t. 🙂 I was also very pleasantly surprised by haggis when we were in Scotland!

  9. Julie May 14, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

    I have loved your blog for years! I always enjoyed and appreciated your emphasis on using sustainable and locally-grown protein. Tuna is NOT sustainable, so this is disappointing and seemingly contradictory to everything you’ve purported to represent. ( It’s the “oh-a-little-bite-won’t-hurt” mentality that is depleting our oceans. I will no longer follow your blog.

    • ariana May 15, 2015 at 11:45 am #

      Hi Julie,
      I have always enjoyed having you here with us, and reading your thoughtful comments. I am sorry to hear that I disappointed you by posting a recipe with tuna in it. I do care about sustainable food, and in this recipe I linked to a company that sells tuna that is line-caught and supports marine conservation. I also suggested using mackerel or sardines.

      The recipes and stories I share have always been about thoughtful living– but not perfection. We do our best to eat well and consciously– but we’re not perfect, and I don’t ask my readers to be, either. There are always things we could be doing better. Perhaps I could have included more information on sustainable seafood, but it honestly did not occur to me at the time I was writing this recipe– I was simply sharing one of the first dishes we had enjoyed here.

      I sincerely appreciate you bringing attention to the issue of overfishing bluefin tuna. My hope is that you will stay in communities where people are trying, yet not always with perfect execution, so that you can continue to share the issues you care about and educate others who, like me, may not have been as informed as you.

      That said, I know I am bound to do and say things that you and others may disapprove of. It’s hard, but it’s just part of being out there, sharing ideas and attempting to find and build community, in all of my humanness. Thank you for your comment, I have taken it to heart.

  10. ethan July 27, 2019 at 7:45 pm #

    This sounds astonishing! I have as of late been determined to have PCOS and am attempting to re-figure out how to eat to best mend my body. This implies I have to bid farewell to gluten and dairy. I’m generally vigilant for flavorful suppers that are quick and simple that possessed all the necessary qualities. I’m eager to attempt this.


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