recipe by Mackenzie Wise
Whether you're looking for a make-ahead lunch or something portable for hiking, this recipe delivers. We've amped up traditional tuna salad with the addition of curry, crunchy celery and apples, and sweet golden raisins. It's a perfectly creamy balance that works great with tuna, but cooked chicken works great as well. For even more contrast, top each serving with almonds and bright, ruby red pomegranate seeds.
3/4 pound fresh tuna
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, diced
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 small apple, diced
3 celery stalks, with leaves, diced
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, or to taste
1/4 cup golden raisins
Butter lettuce leaves
Chopped almonds, for garnish, optional
Pomegranate seeds, for garnish, optional
1. Poach tuna. Place tuna and enough water to cover it in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer (do not boil). Reduce heat to low and cook until fish is opaque and cooked through and can easily be flaked with a fork, 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness of tuna. Remove from water and transfer to a plate. Set aside to cool.
2. In a medium sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is just softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in curry powder and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature.
3. When tuna is cool enough to handle, pat dry completely with a paper towel. Flake into small pieces and place in bowl with cooled onion mixture. Add apple and celery. Stir in mayonnaise (adjust amount of mayonnaise based on personal preference). Stir in raisins and season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour until chilled.
4. To serve, place 1 scoop of tuna mixture inside 2 butter leaves stacked on top of each other. Repeat with remaining tuna mixture and butter leaves. Top each with a few almonds and pomegranate seeds (if using). Serve immediately.
cook's note: Try to dice everything the same size, and fairly small, so that it all fits nicely in the lettuce wraps.
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