tuna boats…

…are the perfect way to enjoy your lunchtime. Well not deep sea fishing so much, but a nice twist on your average, edible tuna salad sandwich. Except we’re using fresh lettuce versus bread. Not all tuna salads are created equal. I’ve encountered tuna varieties from each end of the lunch-special spectrum, and it is rare to find one I like. If you’re a tuna sandwich fan such as myself, I’m sure you’ve seen them too, you know the kind that is more of a saturated mayo paste than a salad suited for summer-sandwiching! And don’t even get me started on the ones marred by the likes of sweet pickle relish, yuck. So, more often than not, I make my own & have created a light version that gets an extra kick from one salty, lil’ French ingredient – cornichons!

Really they’re just tiny, briny, mini French dill pickles. Nothing sweet about them! I started adding these with my other regular, tuna ingredients several years ago, and now I’m hooked! (okay… that pun was probably unecessary, but I couldn’t help myself…) 

Now talk about easy and healthy… Our perfectly salted, tuna salad is protein-packed and full of texture with finely chopped celery, green onions, dill and of course our cornichons. We opt for white albacore packed in water only, since we want solid white meat with low moisture, and no oil. This is great on toasted sourdough, or as a chunky dip with crunchy potato chips. Since I thought we should keep it on the lighter side, we’re serving up our mid day meal in crisp romaine heart lettuce leaves, which gives us our boats! No utensils necessary…

5 from 1 reviews
Dinnervine Tuna Salad with Cornichons
Tuna salad, light and flavorful with the salty addition of cornichons and seasonings. This mix will lighten-up your next sandwich, or is even lighter in lettuce 'boats'. I also like to have mine with some classic potato chips as a dip. Enjoy!
Serves: several small boats
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
What to get:
  • 2, 6.4 oz packages white albacore tuna, packed in water (drain any excess fluid)
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped cornichons, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped finely
  • ½ tsp+ dried dill
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp+ coarsely ground black pepper
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • **I did not uise seas salt due to salty cornichons, but salt at end as desired.
  • 2-3 T Light Mayo (I only use Best Foods, a non-sweet variety)
  • small squeeze of lemon juice
  • Romaine heart lettuce leaves, for making tuna boats
  • 1 package sliced Pepper-Jack cheese, slices halved (1 slice per 'boat')
What to do:
  1. In small bowl combine all dry ingredients, mixing well.
  2. Add mayo, a tablespoon at a time, until desired texture (I like mine drier).
  3. Add small squeeze of fresh lemon.
  4. Add additional pepper, dill & salt at the end as desired!
  5. Chill tuna mix in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Take romaine lettuce hearts and trim bottom edge.
  7. In each lettuce leaf 'boat' add halved slice of pepper jack cheese, one half of slice on each side of boat.
  8. Fill boat with tuna salad and top with little paprika & thin sprig of green onion.
  9. Enjoy chilled!
If you're not using the air-tight package of tuna, make sure you drain the canned albacore very well. I would only recommend using the water packed, solid white tuna. Also, I get my cornichons at my local Trader Joe's market, but if cornichons aren't available at your grocery or specialty store, you can chop zesty dill pickles instead, but you may want to add a pinch of sea salt in the latter case; taste first.

I recommend making the salad ahead and letting it absorb all of the flavors for at least a half hour before serving, though it is okay to eat as-is. You can definitely add more of the mayo if you like yours on the creamier side; the same goes with spices. I sometimes end up adding a more black pepper & dill after it chills for awhile. One thing I will say, is our cute cornichons are salty, so I didn’t need to add any sea salt to this one it turns out!

It appears to be time we give our standard turkey sandwich a break, and try a tasty & healthy spin on tuna salad & crackers. You won’t even have to bust out your toaster for this, just rinse off a some lettuce and this lunch is ready!


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Welcome to the dinnervine!

Thank you for visiting the dinnervine! In the words of Julia Child, "People who love to eat, are always the best people," and I couldn't agree more. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did making them. Here's to creating new recipes and memories with friends & family, cheers! 

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