The inspiration for this salad comes from a childhood favorite: a tuna salad my mom would make with both canned tuna AND hard boiled eggs. The warm eggs would just slightly melt the grated Tillamook cheddar, which was also part of the mix (and present for every weekend lunch I can remember from growing up).
This recipe is a twist on that comfort meal, with a fresh base of romaine and parsley, a tuna upgrade to the Italian style – packed in oil, and a bit of extra flavor from radishes, olives, and avocado. It retains the heartiness of a classic tuna salad, with a few healthier additions.
Note that ingredient amounts can vary based on your personal preference, which is why the amounts below are quite “loose”. Feel free to make your own dressing (directions below) or use a store-bought version, but if you go the store-bought route watch out for added sugars and canola or vegetable oils, which are high in inflammatory fatty acids. (I put the link for my favorite store-bought dressing below.)
To boil eggs, I use a method adopted from Martha Stewart. I put the eggs in a pot, immerse them in cold water, and set over high heat, uncovered. Once the water has reached a rolling boil, I turn off the heat and place a lid on the pot. For well-done eggs, keep the eggs covered in the pot for 8 minutes. For just slightly less-than-well-done eggs, keep the eggs in the pot for 6 minutes. Once the time is up, immediately rinse the eggs in cold water to stop the cooking process.
- 5-8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 4-5 small radishes, thinly sliced rounds
- 1/3 cup – 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved lengthwise
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/3 cup – 1/2 cup sheep’s milk feta cheese, crumbled
- ~1 cup Italian parsley leaves
- ~1/2 cup tuna, canned in oil, strained
- 3-4 hard-boiled eggs (see note above), peeled and cut into rounds
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- OR skip ingredients from red wine vinegar-oregano and use store-bought dressing – I like Primal Kitchen Greek dressing
In a large serving bowl, layer the romaine with the chickpeas, red onion, radishes, olives, avocado, feta, parsley, tuna, and eggs.
In an empty jar, combine the vinegar, olive oil, dijon, salt and pepper, and dried oregano. Shake to emulsify.
The salad and dressing can be saved in the refrigerator for a few hours. Dress immediately prior to serving.
Primal Kitchen salad dressing (my current favorite):
For more tuna salad inspiration, check out this post from a few years ago: