At Scala’s Bistro in San Francisco, Chef Justin Deering is known for creating fresh and modern takes on classic Old World cuisine. Today, he shares a recipe for the quintessential dish for the season — a light and flavorful springtime tuna salad — the perfect meal for dining al fresco.
Springtime Tuna Salad
Scala’s Bistro (San Francisco, CA) – Chef Justin Deering
1 can Sicilian tuna*
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp capers
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 to 2.5 cups olive oil
1/3 cup Banyuls vinegar
2 heads butter lettuce
1 cucumber, seeded and cut on the bias
3 breakfast radishes, cut into quarters
4 oz haricot verts, blanched
3 butterball potatoes, boiled and peeled
1 hard-boiled egg, cut into quarters
4 pickled white anchovies
1 piquillo pepper, julienned and tossed with paprika
fresh parsley and chives, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
* Those in San Francisco can find this at Lucca’s on Valencia Street
Make the tonnato dressing:
- Place half of the canned Sicilian tuna, egg yolk, capers, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and 1 shallot in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- With machine running, slowly drizzle in 1 to 1.5 cups of olive oil to emulsify.
- Set aside.
Make the Banyuls vin dressing:
- Finely chop the remaining 2 shallots and place in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the Banyuls vinegar, salt and pepper and let sit for five minutes.
- Whisk in 1 cup of olive oil.
- Set aside.
Assemble the salad:
- Toss the butter lettuce with a small amount of Banyuls vin dressing.
- Arrange the leaves to cover a large dinner plate.
- Toss the cucumbers, radishes, haricot verts and potatoes with the Banyuls vin dressing and arrange the mixture over the butter lettuce.
- Crumble the remaining tuna and hard-boiled egg over the salad, then add the anchovies and julienned pepper.
- Using a spoon, drizzle the tonnato dressing over the salad.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley and chives and serve.