Optional Mix-ins: Toasted Pine Nuts, Snipped Fresh Chives, Parsley, Hard Boiled Eggs, Pickles, Avocado
Cook Tuna: You can cook tuna on the stove-top and grill or poach it if you like! I recommend cooking the tuna to YOUR liking! I prefer mine medium-rare, which is about 1 ½ to 3 minutes per side depending upon thickness. (SEE NOTES for poaching instructions!)o Poach in Oil: Recommended for best tasting fresh tuna. See notes for full poaching instructions.o Pan Sear: Pat the tuna dry and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the tuna to the pan. Cook, 3-6 minutes per side, depending upon the desired doneness. Transfer tuna to a clean work surface and allow it to cool completely.o Grill: Preheat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat (450-degrees F). Coat the tuna in oil and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Add the tuna to the grill and cook for 3-6 minutes per side, depending upon the desired doneness. Transfer tuna to a clean work surface and allow it to cool completely.
Mix dressing: In a glass measure or small bowl, combine the garlic, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, horseradish, and Worcestershire. Season with scant 1/4 tsp salt and a scant 1/8 tsp black pepper. Whisk until well combined. Taste and adjust for seasoning. (Tip: You can make the sauce up to 4 days in advance.)
Combine veggies + add some dressing: Add to a large mixing bowl, the scallions, celery, capers, and dill to the bowl. Stir to combine. Add ½ of the sauce and stir to combine. Set aside.
Flake Tuna and add to salad: When the tuna is completely cool, cut or flake it into generous bite-size cubes and add it the bowl. Gently fold the mixture together if you like large chunks of tuna in your salad; or stir if you prefer a smoother tuna salad. Taste and adjust for seasoning and creaminess, adding more sauce as desired.
Serve: If adding any of your favorite tuna salad mix-ins, such as pine nuts or hard-boiled eggs, fold them into the salad now. Garnish with more fresh herbs. Serve and enjoy!
Time Tip! To make the most of your time, I recommend cooking the tuna first since it needs to cool completely. Then, grab and prep the veggies, mix the sauce, etc.
Tip for cooking Tuna in Pan or on Grill: For the best sear or char, don’t move and fuss with the tuna while it’s cooking. Let it cook for at least 3 minutes, undisturbed, before checking on it and possibly flipping it!
For the best tuna for tuna salad, I recommend oil poaching the tuna! The oil infuses flavor into the tuna and keeps it moist and super luscious. Plus, you can store the tuna right in the oil (completely submerged, after it cools), so I recommend poaching in large batches. Store extra in the fridge for several weeks. (See below for instructions on how to poach tuna.)
Poached Tuna:Good Olive Oil – for poaching (good quality, not your best!)4 cloves Garlic – smashed½ tsp or more Crushed Red Pepper Flakes1 Lemon – use a vegetable peeler to make strips of lemon zestParsley (or any herbs you love!)Flakey Sea Salt + Ground Black PepperStovetop Poaching:
Add a couple glugs of oil to a wide saucepan, one that will fit the tuna snugly in a single layer. (You are just adding a bit of oil so the tuna doesn’t stick to the pan.)
Then, add tuna to the saucepan, arranging it in a single layer.
Add enough oil to just cover the tuna about ¼-inch of the way up the sides.
Season the tuna generously with salt and pepper.
Add aromatics - the garlic, red pepper flakes, strips of lemon zest and any fresh herbs you love.
Low heat. Set the pan over low heat and cook gently. There should be tiny bubbles on the sides of the pan, but no rapid simmering!! Cook, basting the tuna with the oil frequently, about 12-15 minutes for a faint pink center. (Tip: I like to gently lift the corners of the tuna to ensure the oil is flowing underneath to prevent sticking.)
Oven Poaching Method:
Grease an oven-proof casserole dish just large enough to hold the tuna in a single layer.
Add tuna to the dish, arranging it in a single layer.
Add enough oil to just cover the tuna about ¼-inch of the way up the sides. Lift the corners of the tuna to ensure the oil flows underneath.
Season generously with salt and pepper.
Add aromatics - smashed garlic, red pepper flakes, strips of lemon zest and any fresh herbs you love.
Place into a 275-degree Fahrenheit oven. Slow poach for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and very carefully flip the tuna over. Return to the oven and continue to poach for an additional 15 minutes. (1-inch tuna will take approximately 30 minutes total to reach 145-degrees F.) (Step substitution, if you prefer to not flip the tuna, you can remove the tuna from the oven every 7 minutes and baste the tuna in oil.)
Cool. Remove the tuna from oil to a clean work surface and let cool completely.
Flake or cut into large chunks. Use or return to oil and store in the refrigerator for several weeks.
Recipe Serves: 4 as entree salad; 6 as sandwiches or wrapsNutritional information is an approximation based upon 6 servings. Exact information will depend upon the brands of ingredients and precise measurements used.