Tuna, Chickpea, and Farro Salad
The tuna salad of my childhood was a straightforward affair that involved mashing together a can of water-packed tuna with heaps of Best Foods mayonnaise, red onion, and diced celery. It was a beautiful thing when sandwiched between slices of soft wheat bread, and remains a lunch favorite. But the possibilities for turning tuna into a meal go far beyond the sandwich as evidenced by this Tuna, Chickpea, and Farro Salad.
Consider Canned Tuna
To my mind, Americans have a rather narrow view for how canned fish is used in everyday meals. Frankly, we can be a bit snobbish about it, with a tendency to consider fresh fish the far superior option. The fact is, canned seafood is nourishing, economical, convenient, and done right, plainly delicious. I always have a few cans of fish (usually tuna, salmon, and sardines) tucked in the pantry. Perhaps we need to take a cue from our friends in Europe, who lean on a wide variety of canned fish, tuna included, in many difference preparations.
Not So Standard Tuna Salad
Today’s recipe is a good example of taking the convenience of canned fish and spinning it into something a little bit beyond a standard salad. You start with a base of cooked farro, toss it with arugula and chickpeas (a favorite partner for tuna), and top with crumbled feta. I use fennel instead of celery for the signature crunch. Here are a few tasty ways to enjoy it:
For a tasty light supper
Packed into containers for school or work lunch
Spooned into lettuce leaves for a hand-held meal
Enjoyed as a snack if you happen to have leftovers
If you like Tuna, Chickpea, and Farro Salad, check out:
This line up of recipes on Cooking Light
And if you care to stretch into other canned seafood, learn about the upside of sardines.
Tuna, Chickpea, and Fennel Salad
- ½ cup uncooked farro
- 1 five-ounce can tuna , drained
- 1 cup canned chickpeas
- ½ large bulb fennel, cut in half, cored, and sliced very thin
- 2 generous handfuls baby arugula
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Cook the farro according to package directions. Drain well if any cooking water remains.
Transfer the farro to a large bowl. Add the tuna, flaking it with a fork, chickpeas, fennel, arugula, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, cumin, and salt. Toss well.
Spoon into a shallow serving bowl or small platter and sprinkle the feta over the top. Serve.