Once you oil-poach fresh tuna, you may never want to buy the canned stuff again. You can even poach the tuna in larger batches and store it in the fridge, submerged in the flavorful oil for several weeks, and use it for sandwiches or tossed with white beans and celery.
- 1 lemon
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper or pinch of crushed red pepper
- 8 to 10 ounces albacore tuna, cut into 1-inch slabs
- Extra-virgin olive oil for poaching
- ½ cup farro, barley, or wheat berries
- 8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed, halved if large
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup snipped chives
Use a vegetable peeler to remove strips of lemon zest and add to a medium saucepan. Add the garlic, Aleppo pepper, tuna, and enough oil just to cover. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat and cook until the tuna is opaque and firm, about 15 minutes. Transfer the tuna to a plate and break into large flakes. Strain the oil and reserve ¼ cup for the dressing.
Meanwhile, cook the grains in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until tender, 20 to 60 minutes depending on the grain. Add the snap peas to the grains and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain the grains and snap peas, spread on a plate and let cool slightly.
Into a large bowl, squeeze 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Whisk in the reserved olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the grains, snap peas, tuna, chickpeas, onion, tomatoes, and chives and toss to combine, leaving the tuna in bite size pieces.
The salad can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
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Pair it Up
A sunny southern Italian white wine has enough body (and freshness) to compliment this oil-poached fish. Look for a Greco di Tufo, Fiano, or Falanghina from the Campania region.
Level it Up
Orange zest and fennel seeds add a Sicilian twist to the poaching oil. Add sliced fresh fennel to the salad for flavor and crunch.
Change it Up
Wrap any leftover salad in lettuce leaves for a light and refreshing sandwich alternative.
Know Your Cook
Culinary Director Grace Parisi is a cook, writer and cookbook author. Formerly the Senior Test Kitchen Editor at Food & Wine Magazine and Executive Food Director at TimeInc Books, her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Health, O Magazine, Epicurious, Fitness, Today, Serious Eats, Martha Stewart, and many more. She’s the author of more than 6 books, among them The Portlandia Cookbook and Get Saucy, which was nominated for a James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook.