In my house we have to make a distinction between tuna salad and a tuna salad. They are not the same. Tuna salad is that stuff you usually put in a sandwich and includes mayo and whatever else you like. A tuna salad really includes salad (ie lettuce) and doesn’t have any mayo at all. My mother once told me that making tuna this way is another Italian-American recipe and that is why my friends would eye us suspiciously when they came over to lunch. Happily, it wins people over in the end and makes a great bento lunch. Just remember to keep the tuna-mix separate until it is time to eat if you are going to make it in advance.


Italian Tuna Salad

1 can or packet of tuna (if using a can, you will need to drain it first)
1 plum tomato, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
lettuce of choice
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Place tuna in a bowl and break it up a bit with a fork. Add olive oil and vinegar and mix to combine. Add tomato and celery and gently fold these in so that you don’t break up the tomato too much. Add salt and pepper to taste. At this point I will sometimes add more oil and vinegar too if I think it needs it.

In another bowl, tear up lettuce. If you are going to eat this right away, simply add the tuna mix to the lettuce and toss. Think of the tuna mix as dressing. If you are going to pack it in a bento, place the lettuce in your bento and then keep the tuna in a separate container until lunch time.

This type of tuna salad is very light and refreshing and makes a great summer/warm weather lunch.

Also in this bento:
baby carrots
cheddar cheese

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