Though canned tuna is an ingredient most of us grew up with, and therefore we hardly give it a second glance, the truth is that buying good-quality canned tuna makes a big, big difference. It means that you can make it the undisputed star of a dish and not just something mixed with mayonnaise for a sandwich. Packed in olive oil and usually imported from Italy, it's a little more expensive but it's an ingredient you can respect.
Which is why the new issue of Bon Appetit (the debut of new Editor in Chief Adam Rapoport) has a page devoted to it with four recipes from chefs around the country. This one, from Dakota Soifer of Cafe Aion in Boulder, start with creamy fingerling potatoes and tosses them with the tuna, capers, red onion, olives, and parsley. It's creamy and rich, but it has bite, too.
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 rib celery, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 pound fingerling potatoes, scrubbed
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 can good-quality tuna in olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped capers
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup picholine or other green olives, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Small handful mizuna or arugula
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil with onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Add potatoes and boil until tender, then drain and slice. Toss with olive oil and vinegar while still warm.
Drain tuna and mix with capers, onion, olives, and parsley. Combine tuna and potatoes and toss gently. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more olive oil or red wine vinegar as needed. Toss entire mixture with mizuna or arugula and serve.