Tuna Spread with Capers Recipe

Tuna Spread with Capers Recipe

The following recipe is from the August 19 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!

I always keep a few emergency cans of tuna in my cupboard—their presence reassures me that no matter how bare the fridge is, there is always something to eat. A can of olive oil-packed tuna plus a few capers and olives mixed with a little bit of mayo and mustard makes a simple tuna salad that is one of my standard solo meals. It might not be the most exciting thing to eat, but it's something that I've always really enjoyed.

Deborah Madison has taken these ingredients and transformed them into something a little more elegant with this Tuna Spread with Capers from her new book What We Eat When We Are Alone. By blending all of the ingredients until smooth and creamy, the elements of a simple tuna salad are transformed into a fish pâté. Sounds pretty fancy, right? I'd never think about feeding my guests tuna sandwiches, but I'd be more than pleased to serve this spread with some flat breads or crackers during cocktail hour.

  • Yield:1


  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 1 small garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 anchovies
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon capers, plus extra for garnish
  • A few pinches chopped parsley, thyme leaves, or snipped chives


  1. 1.

    Drop the first 6 ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well blended. Add a few pinches of salt, lemon zest, and a teaspoon of lemon juice, and pulse to combine. Scrape the spread into a bowl, stir in the capers, and season it to taste with pepper. Spread the tuna over toast or crackers and garnish with the additional capers and a pinch of fresh green herbs.