Spicy Tuna Salad with Artichoke Hearts and Olives (Serves 3-4)

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Tuna salad is my playground. I love adding new things and seeing how it turns out. My play date with artichoke hearts turned out beautifully.

Prep time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:

3 cans of tuna (mine was packed in olive oil)

1 small sweet yellow onion

1 can of artichoke hearts

1 can of black olives

2-3 tablespoons of mayonnaise (recipe for making it yourself below)

1 tablespoon of mustard

Dried cranberries (infused with apple juice/not sugar)

Red chili powder

Garlic powder

Salt

Directions:

Finely chop onion and add to a mixing bowl. Drain artichoke hearts and olives. Cut artichoke hearts into bite size pieces and add them and the olives to bowl. Add tuna and a handful of dried cranberries. Add a nice dusting of salt, garlic powder, and red chili powder. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise according to taste and a tablespoon of mustard. Mix ingredients. Taste and add more spices as needed. Serve with almost any fresh vegetable. I’ve been eating mine with red or green leaf lettuce or arugula lately.

Notes: I added dried cranberries the second time I made this tuna salad. The picture is from the first batch. It is okay without, but the sweet tartness of the cranberries adds a nice dimension.

I recently bumped the volume of tuna in my salads from 2 cans to 3. Adding two cans of vegetables – olives and artichoke hearts – demanded I add more tuna too, especially since I typically eat tuna salad with fresh vegetables like lettuce or baby cut carrots too.

Homemade mayonnaise is surprisingly easy to make and bumps up the flavor of this dish. I learned to make mayonnaise from Melissa Joulwan. She promised me it would be easy and she was right! Don’t accept the soybean oil, sugar, and preservatives of store-bought mayonnaise anymore. Make some homemade yourself. I’ll walk you through it below or you can click here and let Melissa walk you through it.

Homemade Mayo

Ingredients:

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 1/4 cups olive oil (light, not extra virgin)

Directions:

Place the egg, mustard powder, salt, apple cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup of olive oil in a food processor and whirl until well mixed – 20 to 30 seconds. You can mix by hand in a bowl with a whisk like Julia Childs did in the old days, but that is a lot of work. Now here comes the important part: Drizzle in the last cup of olive oil very, very slowly while you keep running the food processor – as in, take about 3 minutes to drizzle in one cup of oil. Don’t get in a hurry and dump a lot of oil in at once or the mixture can collapse and stop looking like mayonnaise. IF your mayo collapses, all is not lost. Put the mixture in the refrigerator for a few hours and then stir it vigorously. Such “failed” mayo doesn’t look as pretty, but it still tastes good and works fine in tuna salad. Once you are done, transfer your mayo to an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator until needed. Homemade mayo should be good until the expiration date of the egg it was made with.

Melissa Joulwan warns of the importance of starting with all ingredients at room temperature. I have had success using a cold egg, but am mixing with apple cider vinegar and not lemon juice like Melissa. That difference might make a difference.