James Beard’s Garden Tuna Salad

 

2
6-ounce cans oil or water-packed albacore tuna, drained well
4
hard cooked large eggs, shelled
1
cup finely chopped inner celery stalks, tender leaves reserved
1/4
cup drained capers
3
tablespoons finely chopped red onions or shallots
3/4
cup mayonnaise
1/2
teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt
4
cups inner romaine or butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and crisped
2
tablespoons minced parsley
Paprika (optional)
1
cup small cherry tomatoes, stemmed, rinsed and drained
1/2
cup drained Nicoise olives
1
lemon, rinsed, cut into 8 wedges

 

           

Put tuna in a bowl.  Coarsely chop 2 eggs and add to tuna.  Cut remaining eggs in half lengthwise and set aside.  Add celery, capers and onion to same bowl; mix well with a fork, breaking tuna into small pieces.

 

Add mayonnaise and pepper and mix.  Add more mayonnaise if desired.  Season to taste with salt (note:  capers are very salty).

 

Arrange lettuce and celery leaves equally into 4 wide, shallow bowls.  Mound tuna salad on greens, sprinkle with parsley and dust with paprika, if desired.

 

Set an egg half alongside each salad and garnish with tomatoes, olives, and lemon wedges.  Season the salads to taste with juice from lemon wedge and additional salt and pepper. 

 

Serves 4.