If you’ve read my post about how long it’s taken me to fine tune a variation on a classic southern tuna salad I would enjoy eating, you know how picky I am when it comes to tuna salad. In the winter, I usually abandon that salad and on rare occasion make my grandfather’s tuna recipe from his WWII Navy days: creamed tuna on toast (aka sh*t on a shingle). When I recently found myself craving a tuna salad, I abandoned creamed tuna for a salad that could handle a chilly winter night. For some people, fearless may mean climbing Everest or riding a bull. For me, at least that day, it was making a tuna salad that was almost completely off the historical map of my tuna salad journey: Tuna Avocado Salad.Jump to Recipe
Defeat the Drab, Cold Winter
I wanted something that packed some heat to keep me warm on cold, winter nights and that had a little color to counter the drab winter landscape. I also thought I’d try a healthier substitute for mayonnaise along with the ingredient my husband has most asked for in a blend with mayo and mustard this winter: sriracha. And now I can’t resist channeling Buddy the Elf (from the movie Elf) by telling you how fun it is to say ”sriracha.” (Almost as fun as saying “Francisco.”) And, might I add … “Good news. I saw a dog today.” (That’s for a friend—her favorite line from Elf.) Do you have a favorite line from Elf? Drop a line in the comments!
The day I made this salad, I did see a dog—the rescue dog I won at a fundraising auction for the Boys & Girls Club a few years ago. Oliver popped into the kitchen when I opened the cans of tuna. It seems he likes seafood as much as his owners. He hung around just long enough to figure out I wasn’t going to give him any then went back to his second favorite thing to do besides eat: sleep. His third? Going boating or hiking. And here in the upper right-hand corner of Tennessee, there’s plenty of that to be had—especially hiking. The iconic Appalachian Trail runs through this region.
Hearty Enough for Hungry Hikers
And that leads to my last desire for this salad: that it be hearty enough for a couple of cold, hungry hikers on their return home. And you know what? I haven’t tested the theory yet, but I think it’s going to hit the spot after a hike.
After blending together the ingredients, you’ll end up with a creamy and crunchy salad that’s loaded with protein, spreads well, packs a little heat, and satisfies the palate and belly. If you don’t like heat, dial down the sriracha and jalapeño a bit and add a little celery.
The creamy avocado makes this so spreadable, you might use it for charcuterie. I enjoyed it on a sandwich and on some crackers I had left from a holiday charcuterie board I served for a family gathering.
“We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.”― Buddy
Tuna Avocado Salad
- 10 oz chunk light tuna
- 5 oz chunk white tuna
- ½ small Vidalia or other sweet onion diced (about 2/3 C)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 3 small sweet peppers chopped fine
- 1 TBSP diced jalapeño peppers I use Mt. Olive brand
- 1 small to medium avocado mashed
- 1 TBSP sriracha sauce
- ¼ to ½ tsp salt to taste
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ to ½ tsp oregano to taste
- ¼ C pecan pieces
- Drain tuna well and place in large mixing bowl.
- Dice onion, garlic and sweet peppers and place in bowl.
- Mash avocado and place in bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
- Serve or refrigerate in closed container.