Insalata di tonno – Tuna salad
- Canned Tuna – the best you can find and afford
- Boiled potatoes
- Green salad
- Sweet onions
- Boiled eggs
- Boiled string beans
- Extra virgin Olive oil
How to make Insalata di tonno – Tuna salad
Put all the ingredients on a serving plate, add the tuna at the end, and sprinkle with the olive oil.
What tuna should you use, and why?
The tuna is the main ingredient and the centerpiece of this dish.
Choose the best tuna you can afford. As you can see from the picture, I choose “Ventresca di Tonno Rosso” by the Sicilian fishery Tre Torri.
PLEASE: don’t even consider using tuna in water. As a minimum, it should be tuna in olive oil! Tuna in water is for Ben The Cat!
Ventresca di Tonno Rosso is the fish’s belly – known in Japan as toro. The fattiest cut has a creamy, velvety texture and minimal, typical canned tuna, with its dry, chalky texture and bland taste. The exquisite Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna or Tonno Rosso is full of fresh flavor and can be enjoyed right out of the can with a squeeze of lemon.
These Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna are never frozen. Instead, the entire production is done by hand; when the tuna arrives, it is butchered, and the cuts are selected and separated for ventresca, tarantello, and trancio. Then, it is boiled in small batches, cooled, and canned using local Sicilian olive oil and sea salt from Trapani.
Based in Erice, Conservificio Tre Torri continues to prepare tuna with artisanal methods generations old. Tre Torri produces a minimal quantity of canned tuna – about 88,000 pounds a year – which is the amount some industrial plants process in one day. Paying this way is very expensive, and the price of Tre Torri Tuna reflects the actual cost of this Mediterranean delicacy. Nevertheless, it is a Bluefin Tuna you can genuinely feel good about enjoying.
Their Bluefin Tuna is made by a minimal canning facility on the Sicilian west coast in Trapani. The company has been there for 60 years, and it is owned by Vito Torre, whose father was a fisherman and used to sell his fish in the open market of Trapani. Vito Torre tells me that his tuna are caught off the coast of Sicily by small fishing boats that use methods passed along from the Arabs. Vito buys very few tuna every year, and he processes them (steaming, salting, packing) only by hand. Vito’s production is minimal. He produces just a few hundred cans of 300 gr (10 oz) every year. The way they catch the fish is costly. The production process is all done by hand.
What about the price of this tuna? Is it worth it?
Yes, Ventresca di Tonno Rosso by the fishery Tre Torri IS expensive. BUT it would be best if you considered the cost of a lunch or dinner at a nice Japanese restaurant, where you would pay more for the same or similar tuna served as sushi or sashimi.
With one can of “Ventresca di Tonno Rosso” by the fishery Tre Torri in Sicily, you can prepare three generous servings of Insalata di tonno – Tuna salad. After all, you end up saving money compared to going to a Japanese restaurant!
A variation: Radicchio Rosso with tuna
- Radicchio Rosso
- Mozzarella di bufala
- Boiled eggs
- Boiled small potatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Tna in extra virgin olive oil
How to make Radicchio Rosso with Tuna
Boil the small potatoes and cut them in half
Do the same with the boiled eggs
Cut the mozzarella into small pieces
Cut the tomatoes into slices
Cut the Radicchio Rosso into fine pieces
Mixin a bowl and season with extra virgin olive oil
Serve to add the tuna to the diners’ plates
Insalata di tonno – Tuna salad is a regional recipe from Sicily.