Tuna salad is one of the simplest salads, with just two essential ingredients: tuna and mayonnaise. Its history in America goes back to the turn of the 20th century. Before grocery stores were common, most Americans avoided wasting food and found ways to use their dinner leftovers, mixing scraps of chicken, ham, or fish with mayonnaise and serving it over lettuce for lunch. Similar to chicken salad, tuna salad is much cheaper to make, and the arrival of canned tuna in 1904 made it more so. The earliest written reference to tuna salad dates to 1907, and by 1914, dozens of recipes were in publication. When women began working in offices and department stores during the 20th century, lunch counters opened to serve them. Offering many of the same foods women served at home, tuna salad was a popular menu item, and spreading the salad between bread made it a quick sandwich option. In the 1960s, tuna salad became a staple for dieters due to its high vitamin content, further securing it as an American classic.
Recipe Servings: 2
- 2 cans (6 oz each) solid white tuna packed in water
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 celery stalk, minced (about ¼ cup)
- 2 Tbsp red onions, minced
- 2 Tbsp dill pickles or sweet gherkins, minced
- ½ garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves, minced
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ tsp Dijon mustard
- Drain tuna in a colander and shred with a fork or fingers.
- In a medium bowl, mix tuna with lemon juice, celery, onion, pickles, garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley.
- Fold in mayonnaise and mustard until mixture is well-blended.
- Serve immediately or store covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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