This Brussels sprouts tuna salad was fate. And a few hundred miles away facing another computer screen, my mom is rolling her eyes.
See, my mom knows my love of Brussels sprouts — in fact, she regularly ribs me for it because she knows that on any given night, I’m probably eating them. I can’t help it: halved and roasted, whole and steamed, shredded and raw, my fondness for them knows no bounds.
So as any doting mom would, she recently suggested I try making a Brussels sprouts Caesar salad when she found a recipe for one the other day. And for whatever reason, I didn’t hear her say Caesar salad; instead, I heard tuna salad, and that was it for me. I could think of getting nothing else into my life but the tuna salad (though that Caesar salad is destined for my future, too).
If there is anything I love as much as the Brussels sprout, it’s tuna salad. And here is where I am sure I’ve lost half of the population’s interest, along with those people who hate cilantro (I love it) and raisins in oatmeal cookies (yes, please). I hope some of you will still be my friend.
To me, tuna salad evokes so many feelings of comfort and simplicity and nostalgia. And Brussels sprouts are just plain delicious. So the two, combined with lemon, salt and pepper and mayo, were MFEO.
I admittedly feel a little silly sitting here telling you how to make a tuna salad, which I believe is one of those basic recipe rites of passage to the kitchen along with quesadillas and scrambled eggs. But sometimes we need a reminder of how good the simple things taste, and perhaps a little inspiration to kick it up a notch, as well. That is why I am so newly swooning over this combination of crunchy, raw, shredded sprouts mixed with creamy mayo (make it the real thing, pretty please), tangy lemon juice, a sprinkle of salt, a few flecks of pepper and savory tuna. And I think if you throw caution to the wind and give it a try, you soon will swoon, too.
This is one of those recipes that offers so much opportunity for variation, it can barely be given due justice with any one list of ingredients. So the recipe below, though delicious in its own right, is just the bare bones; it’s up to you and your creativity to come up with the rest.
But in case you need some ideas, let me spill all of mine out here onto the screen for you:
Things to mix into the tuna salad —
Greek yogurt instead of mayo, for a tangier flavor
Chopped herbs or dried spices (like curry or Old Bay)
Sriracha or another hot sauce
Things to serve the tuna salad on/with —
More salad (like, lettuce)
Bread (toasted or untoasted, plain or with a smear of Dijon mustard or butter)
Oh, my beloved Brussels and tuna. This is livin’, you guys.
I see you rolling your eyes again, Mom.
- 2 (5 oz) cans chunk light tuna in water
- 1 shallot, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 to 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ½ cup to ¾ cup shaved/shredded Brussels sprouts
- Salt and pepper
- Use a can opener to open the cans of tuna. Then, over a sink, use the lids pressed against the upside-down cans to squeeze out and drain the liquid (there will be some liquid left in the tuna; that's OK). Transfer the tuna to a medium bowl.
- Add sliced shallot and lemon juice to bowl, along with 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, ½ cup shaved Brussels sprouts, a good sprinkling of salt and a few cracks of pepper. Taste. If desired, add more mayonnaise, shaved sprouts, lemon juice, salt and/or pepper.
- Serve on (toasted or untoasted) bread, with crackers, in an avocado half, etc.