Portuguese Style Tuna Salad


1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained
1 1/2 lb potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used Yukon Gold)
4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
1/2 red onion, diced
1/3 cup Kalamata olives in oil, drained
12 oz good quality canned tuna (drained if in water–see thoughts)
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook until fork-tender. Drain and place in a large bowl. Allow to cool to closer to room temperature. Add the chickpeas, eggs, tuna, onion and olive and toss to combine. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 24 hr prior to serving.

My thoughts:

When we were in Portugal (where I wish I was right now, I torture myself by checking Lisbon’s weather every day) we ate at two different restaurants that specialized in canned seafood. Both were amazing! The Portuguese take their canned fish very seriously and what they do with it is amazing. I’m still dreaming of the octopus croquettes I had at Can de Can. Like here, canned tuna (alum in Portuguese) is very popular and sold either in slices or in salads like this one. It is normally tuna packed in olive oil, but that can be more difficult to find here so for ease of replication, I used wild-caught skipjack tuna I bought in pouches (Safe Catch Elite) and added olive oil. If you do have access to good, Portuguese (or Italian) tuna, feel free to use that and skip the extra olive oil. I actually still have a few cans of seafood I brought back from Portugal thanks to the long expiration dates of canned goods that I’m still hoarding. I’ll be sad when they are gone.

Nearly every meal we ate in Portugal consisted of a. seafood b. boiled potatoes c. some sort of green vegetable. Before each meal, they bring you bread, canned seafood spreads, cheese/butter/oil, croquettes and olives that you have to refuse if you don’t want but are cheap (a euro or so) if you keep them. This is sort of the salad version of that: tuna, boiled potatoes, olives and hard boiled eggs. Simple yet very satisfying. It is a lovely dinner and the leftovers make a great lunch as it is good slightly warm (if the potatoes are freshly cooked) or chilled. I actually like it better after it has been chilled as the flavors meld.

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