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One Of These Tunas Is Not Like The Others

Which of these tuna brands sends chef Glenys Morgan fishin’ in the back of the cupboard: Rio Mare, Western Family Solid Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil, Cloverleaf Flaked Light Tuna in Vegetable Broth and Oil?

Three tins of tunaI like to keep my favourite canned salmon and tuna ready in the cupboard, not just for emergencies but as delicious staples. But after all that’s known about omega 3 and the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, why is dry, hard, water-packed tuna held up as the gold standard? I’ve converted many with a simple salad or tuna sandwich made with canned tuna from Italy: Rio Mare. Juicy, rosy, packed in olive oil, all it needs is a squeeze of lemon, minced onions or celery. If it needs a little mayo for old times’ sake, about a teaspoon or so will do the trick.

Rio Mare, $3.33 (if you buy three tins) for 160g at Choffi’s Meat Market (604-291-9373) and $5.99 (for one tin) at Whole Foods; Western Family Solid Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil,  $1.79 for 85g at Save-on Foods; Cloverleaf Flaked Light Tuna in Vegetable Broth and Soya Oil $2.59  for 170g at Safeway. (All tuna is yellowfin.)

What To Do With Tinned Tuna: French Flare In Minutes

So the south of France is a bit of a hike, but you’re craving a little of the love—make salade niçoise with that olive-oil-enriched tuna. On a platter around the tuna, arrange a few cherry tomatoes, steamed potatoes, hard-boiled eggs (even better, quail eggs) and crispy blanched green beans or asparagus. Nothing beats down the blues like a citrusy vinaigrette: juice of 2 lemons, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, a teaspoon of sugar, salt and pepper whisked together. Add olive oil to taste or a lighter oil with some olive oil, if you like to keep the flavour bright. And do taste. For a creamy dressing, add a couple tablespoons of that mayonnaise we love. Garnish with capers and put on Piaf.

Photo: C. Phaisalakani

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