The first time I had “Italian tuna” was on a very warm afternoon when my refrigerator and cupboard were uncharacteristically bare. A friend had given me a can of tuna packed in olive oil to try earlier in the day and I popped it in the refrigerator. Tuna in oil is counter to everything I thought I learned correctly about nutrition growing up. But there it was. My friend said, “don’t you dare pour off the oil.” So compliantly I opened the can, added a little handful of something green (probably arugula), gave it a generous squeeze of lemon and devoured it. I became an instant convert. The tuna wasn’t dry and it had a much richer flavor.
Now I eat this quick lunch once a week. I buy my tuna at Trader Joe’s–green can, bottom shelf–and my current favorite additions are chopped Italian parsley and a splash of white wine vinegar for some tang. I feel instantly satisfied with the hit of protein that is both filling with the added olive oil yet still light. A can has about 25 grams of protein, about what you would get from 3 oz of grass-fed beef. When tomatoes are in season try adding a few with a drizzle of vinaigrette.
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl, including the oil from the can of tuna, and gently mix together. Adjust seasonings and serve.