A can of tuna can easily transform into a filling, protein-rich meal full of bright flavors with a few staples from the cupboard and fridge. This version replaces the mayo in favor of a three-ingredient dressing made with prepared pesto, lemon juice and olive oil. Chickpeas add sustenance, but legumes such as cannellini beans would work just as well. Cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, and feta cheese stick with the Mediterranean theme. Sun-dried tomatoes, olives, red bell pepper, cucumbers, avocado, capers, and hard-cooked eggs would also find a happy home here. Serves 4. – Susan Puckett
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 (5-ounce) cans solid pack albacore tuna in olive oil or water, drained
1 pint halved cherry tomatoes
½ cup thinly sliced celery
2 tablespoons finely chopped celery leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons prepared pesto
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (or more, if desired)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or more, if desired)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups baby arugula or other tender salad greens
Place the onion slices in a bowl and cover with cold water to mellow the pungent flavor a bit. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, tuna, celery, celery leaves, parsley, and feta.
In a small bowl, stir together the pesto, lemon juice, and olive oil. Drizzle over the salad and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss again.
Place salad greens on plates and top with the tuna salad. Drizzle with a little more lemon juice or olive oil if desired.
Susan Puckett is an Atlanta-based food writer and cookbook author.