The Not-So Niçoise

"Tuna fish" is a cringeworthy phrase. Even as a tuna lover for some reason I always associate it with an image and smell of a cubicle mate chomping on a smelly tuna sandwich. I choose to call any tuna salad a niçoise instead... Even when it almost always lacks the classic eggs, anchovies and and olives. A canned tuna game changer is to get the jars or tuna in olive oil. I like the one that has olive oil and oregeno the best. They are pricier but still relatively cheap to alternative to other non-plant protein like chicken or fresh fish. I made this salad when I was too lazy to go to the store and recommend keeping all off the involved ingredients stocked in your fridge/pantry!

Ingredients:

  • Jar of tuna
  • Pesto (I used the vegan/mild version of my recipe in this post) 
  • Olive oil 
  • Lemon
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Greens of choice
  • Cucumbers
  • Pepitas
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Salt/pepper
  • White beans

Method:

  • Pepitas: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle and spread olive oil on a foil lined baking sheet. Cover with raw Pepitas. Sprinkle cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper and coriander atop. Use your hands to toss Pepitas in the oil and spices until covered. Spread the Pepitas evenly before putting in the oven. Check and toss/flip around the Pepitas after 4 minutes. Roast another 4 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Let cool.
  • Dressing: If you prepared the thicker version of the pesto whisk it with extra lemon juice and olive oil until it's more of a liquid.
  • Tuna: drain oil from tuna jar and mash with new oil, salt, pepper some of the drained and rinsed white beans, pesto and Pepitas. 
  • Toss greens, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, additional white beans and Pepitas and tuna salad with dressing.