Monday, June 21, 2021

Mediterranean Tuna Salad #recipe by Maya Corrigan

Happy First Day of Summer! Salad makes a perfect summer meal. I'm sharing a recipe for tuna salad. You can make a light lunch with it, use it as a sandwich filling, or serve it with garden vegetables as a large dinner salad. I adapted the recipe from one in the June 2000 issue of Gourmet magazine.

I've always enjoyed tuna fish sandwiches, but couldn't serve them to my family with two members who shy away from anything with mayonnaise. This is the only tuna salad they're willing to eat because it's light on mayo. It includes ingredients that give it a Mediterranean twist: lemon juice, Kalamata olives, and roasted red peppers. I sometimes substitute chopped artichoke hearts for the peppers. 

The original recipe called for two cans of tuna packed in olive oil. To cut down on the calories, I combine one can of tuna in oil and one can of tuna in water. When I've made it with only tuna in water, the flavor isn't as good. I also use light mayo.


2 5-ounce cans of tuna in olive oil, drained
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup drained chopped bottled roasted red peppers or chopped artichoke hearts
10 pitted Kalamata olives, cut length-wise into strips
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion or shallot

Chop the vegetables. 

Whisk together mayonnaise and lemon juice in a large bowl.

Add the drained tuna.

Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 3-4 sandwiches or large salads. 

Tuna is often part of the French Salade Niçoise, my inspiration for the plates with the tuna salad shown below. Presented this way, tuna fish turns into a company dish.     

Maya Corrigan writes the Five-Ingredient Mysteries featuring café manger Val and her live-wire grandfather solving murders in a Chesapeake Bay town. Maya lives in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. Before writing crime fiction, she taught American literature, writing, and detective fiction at Northern Virginia Community College and Georgetown University. When not reading and writing, she enjoys theater, travel, trivia, cooking, and crosswords.
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Five-Ingredient Mysteries in Order

1. By Cook or by Crook: Val and Granddad adjust to a new life spiced with a local murder.
2. Scam Chowder: Granddad is in the soup after a scammer targeting retirees goes face down in his chowder.
3. Final Fondue:  Val, Granddad, and their house guests plumb the dark side of love.
4. The Tell-Tale Tarte: Murder among Poe fans leads to a local “House of Usher” and Poe’s grave in Baltimore.
5. S’more Murders: The Titanic memorial dinner Val caters aboard a yacht has a fatal outcome.
6. Crypt Suzette: A haunted house and a haunting manuscript help Val solve a murder among aspiring writers.
7. Gingerdead Man: A Christmas Carol ghost commits murder during a Dickens of a holiday festival.

“Granddad is a hoot and his jobs as a food reviewer and part-time detective provide endless possibilities for fun and murder . . . Charming.” —Kirkus Review

Plenty of red herrings, mixed motives, and recipes for foodies make for a spirited holiday cozy.”—Kirkus Review

“Suspects abound and the puzzle solution is deftly handled in this charming cozy . . . With recipes included, this is definitely a starter for fans of Diane Mott Davidson, Lou Jane Temple, and Virginia Rich.” – Library Journal 


Are you a tuna fish fan?


  1. Tuna is one of my absolute favorite foods!

  2. I love tuna salad(not only during Lent). After discovering so many seafood related mysteries, I may branch out to crab or lobster salad, too. My tuna is easy on the mayo with dill relish added.

  3. I used to be a big tuna salad eater. Over time, however, I've lost my enthusiasm.
    Maybe I need different tuna.

    1. Tastes definitely change over time! Thanks for your comment, Libby.

    2. I get Albacore Tuna in the foil package. Its a bit more expensive but the white albacore is such a richer flavor. You'll love it!

  4. I sometimes use Greek yogurt in place of mayo in tuna or chicken salad.
    Maybe your family members would be OK with that.

  5. What a line up of some terrific books. Thanks for this amazingly generous giveaway. Linda May

    1. Hi May, Thanks for commenting, but there isn't a giveaway today. We usually have the big giveaways on Sundays.