When I first threw this together a few weeks ago, I did not plan on it being a recipe I would blog. It was a quickly tossed together lunch that I knew would fill me up before work. I chopped up some radicchio, added some canned chickpeas, and then decided to add tuna. I happened to have hard boiled eggs on hand so I used one of those too. Then I made a quick preserved lemon dressing, and added a few onions and cucumber slices. It was so good, albeit slightly too big for one person.
This recipe has a lot of room for playing. It makes a hearty meal-sized salad for one but could be shared as a side salad. Add the vegetables you have on hand. I don’t always have cucumbers in winter so I wrote the recipe with celery instead. Cucumbers and red pepper would be fantastic additions. Arugula would be a great flavorful green to use if you can’t find radicchio. Olives would be delicious in this salad if you enjoy them. Roasted red peppers or another pickled pepper could be used in place of the Mama Lil’s, or they can be nixed entirely. If you don’t have preserved lemon, follow the same dressing recipe, but add lemon zest, and use lemon juice in place of the vinegar. It won’t have the same brininess, but it will still go well with the radicchio and tuna.
This recipe makes more dressing than you will need, but it’ll keep in the fridge for a bit, and you can use it on other salads. It’s also the dressing I use in this lentil salad, which coincidentally was my first recipe of the year for 2021. I really like zippy dressings, so give it a taste before you add all of the vinegar and see what tastes right to you.
Radicchio Tuna Chopped Salad (Serves one as a meal)
For the dressing:
- 1 preserved lemon, seeds removed and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 oz olive oil
- 2 oz red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, or lemon juice
- kosher salt
- black pepper
For the salad:
- 1 celery stalk, small diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, small diced, or thinly sliced pickled onions
- 2-3 oz dressing from above
- 2 cups radicchio
- 1 small can olive oil packed tuna (4.4-5 oz)
- 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas or white beans
- 1 hard boiled egg, diced
- 2 T chopped Mama Lil’s peppers
- chopped parsley to garnish (or tarragon, chives, dill)
- salt, preferably flake salt like Maldon’s
- black pepper
- Make the dressing. Combine chopped preserved lemon, minced garlic, oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You won’t need much salt with the preserved lemon. This dressing is a little chunky with the preserved lemons. If you prefer a smoother dressing you can blend it.
- Add the onion and celery to a large bowl. Add 2 oz of dressing. Allow it to marinate while you chop the radicchio. Chop the radicchio and add it to the bowl.
- Drain the tuna and discard the liquid. Add it to the bowl, along with the beans, hard boiled egg, and Mama Lil’s peppers. Toss and season with salt and pepper. Taste and add extra dressing if desired. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Serve immediately.