Farro, Fennel, and Tuna Salad

Farro Tuna 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 a can of tuna into a meal go far beyond the traditional sandwich.

Consider the Can

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. 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

Today’s recipe is a good example of taking the convenience of canned 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 chick peas (a favorite partner for tuna), and top with crumbled feta. I use fennel instead of celery for the signature crunch. It makes a tasty light supper and packs up well for a school or desk lunch.

For more canned tuna inspiration, you might like this Tuna Nicoise Pasta , this Superfood Tuna Sandwich.  You can also check out this line up of recipes on Cooking Light. And if you care to stretch into other canned seafood, check out the upside of sardines.

Farro Tuna Salad
5 from 1 vote
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Farro, Tuna, and Fennel Salad

We’re giving tuna a Mediterranean makeover in this hearty, whole grain salad. Farro, chickpeas, fennel, and arugula get tossed together with tuna and a bright splash of lemon. Feta scattered over the top makes a tasty finish. Serve it as a light supper any day of the week or take it to go, since it packs up beautifully for school or work lunch. Feel free to substitute another hearty whole grain for the farro, such as brown rice, sorghum, barley, or Israeli couscous. You’ll need about one and one-third of a cup of cooked grains in place of the farro.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings as a light supper or 6 as a side dish
Author katiemorford

Ingredients

  • ½ cup uncooked farro
  • 1 five-ounce can tuna , drained
  • 1 cup cooked 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

Instructions

  1. Cook the farro according to package directions. Drain well if any cooking water remains.
  2. 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.
  3. Spoon into a shallow serving bowl or small platter and sprinkle the feta over the top. Serve.

Comments

03.15.2017 at 11:20 PM #

Tracy

Looks delicious. Thank you!

03.15.2017 at 11:20 PM #

katiemorford

Hope you enjoy it!

03.25.2017 at 4:19 AM #

Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean

loving farro lately! never tried it with tuna though. great idea!

03.25.2017 at 4:19 AM #

katiemorford

Me too, Lindsay. I like to batch cook it and use it throughout the week.

03.26.2017 at 7:57 AM #

Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen

Love this new twist on tuna. Great recipe!

03.26.2017 at 7:57 AM #

katiemorford

Thanks Julie!

03.27.2017 at 7:48 PM #

Rebecca

you’ve somehow made two of my least favorite foods (canned tuna & fennel) look delicious!!!! love the lemony flavor addition

03.27.2017 at 7:48 PM #

katiemorford

Glad to hear, Rebecca. Maybe you’ll be a tuna/fennel convert?

03.28.2017 at 4:55 AM #

diane

Love all of these ingredients; must try.

03.28.2017 at 4:55 AM #

katiemorford

It’s a good one now that the weather is getting warmer.

04.10.2017 at 4:32 PM #

Socorro Sison (Cory)

katie, I love this and my son and husband too. After your demo that evening in Sprouts , I bought some ingredients except for Fennel. I substituted it with celery since I still got some at home. My son complemented it as healthy and something different.
I’ve been attending your events at Sprouts in Daly City and this has changed most of my eating habits. I love making salad as it doe not involve too much heating or cooking. Most of the ingredients are fresh and plant based, some I’ve never tried before especially the fresh condiments. I’ve been experimenting too with Quinoa.
I will look forward of seeing you again in the next event. Thanks.

04.10.2017 at 4:32 PM #

katiemorford

Hi Cory,

I love hearing that feedback. I’ve really enjoyed the cooking classes at Sprouts and glad to know that others are getting something meaningful from them. Please come and introduce yourself next time I’m there. x, Katie

08.19.2018 at 7:03 PM #

Sarah

Made this for dinner and it was tasty. Thank you for the recipe🙂 My family needed a good, easy, tuna recipe.

08.19.2018 at 7:03 PM #

katiemorford

Oh good! That makes me happy. Canned tuna is so handy and it’s nice to have something a little different than the standard tuna salad. Appreciate the comment.

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