As the US (and the rest of the world) prepares for quarantines and self-isolations in the wake of the coronavirus, we’re all stocking up on pantry ingredients. This recipe for my favorite tuna salad uses two cans of tuna and ingredients that should keep in your fridge for weeks (or months). It’s quick to whip together and keeps well in the fridge for a few days. As a bonus, tuna is rich in manganese, zinc, vitamin C, and selenium, all of which help in strengthening the immune system.

Don’t mess with sad tuna lost in mayo when you can make it this way: full of goodies like briny capers, sharp red onions, crisp celery, and dill pickles, all lightly kissed with a lemony dressing.

You will need:

2 cans white tuna in water
1 T capers
1 lemon
2 scallions
1 stalk celery
2 pickles (or a handful of small gherkins)
2 1/4″ slices of red onion
1 T fresh or 1/2 t dry dill
Salt to taste
a few cranks of pepper
1/4-1/2 C mayo

Wash your produce. Zest the lemon, then chop the red onion slices into a small dice (about the size of a caper). Put the diced onion in a small container and cover with cold water. (This will help to leach out some of the sharp bitterness of the onion.)

Chop everything else caper-sized (except the capers, which should be slightly smaller).

Drain the onions and give them a little squeeze to get rid of the water. Open and drain the tuna cans (give the water to your cats! They love it!).

Add all of your chopped ingredients, about a ½ teaspoon salt, pepper, dill, and the tuna to a bowl. Add 1/4 C mayo and the juice of half the lemon, then lightly toss the ingredients together with a fork.

Your finished product should be mostly tuna and veggies with a light dressing of mayo and lemon juice, not a soupy mayo dip with tuna in it. I like my tuna salad with 1/4 to 1/3 C mayo, but if you feel it needs more, add more about a tablespoon at a time. Ditto with the lemon juice—go ahead and juice the other half of the lemon into the bowl if you feel that it needs more.

Taste for salt, and add more if you need more (some canned tuna can be quite salty, some is rather bland).

Eat with crackers, lettuce, or celery, or use to fill sandwiches! Stay healthy and well-fed.

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