Tuna Tartine

This recipe for Tuna Tartine comes from Almost Meatless by Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond.

I’m featuring recipes from the book this week, and then I’ll be giving away a copy signed by both authors. If you commented on my last post, you’re already entered in the giveaway. If not, I’ll let you know how to enter after the recipe.

tuna tartine

According to Joy and Tara, a tartine is the French version of “an open-faced sandwich on toasted, buttered bread, topped with a variety of ingredients”.

I’ve always loved a good tuna salad: high quality canned tuna plus just the right amount of celery and minced onion with real mayonnaise (preferably made with olive oil) equals “yum” in my book.

But maybe you don’t like mayo. Or maybe you want a more interesting tuna salad, one with more color and nutrition going on.

This recipe for Tuna Tartine is a little like a salad niçoise, since you add hard-boiled egg and dress it with a lemon vinaigrette. The tuna is mixed with some of my favorite flavor-intense ingredients (hello olives, pine nuts and parsley), and since it also includes beans, you’re able to stretch the tuna…this recipe feeds 4-6 people with just one large can.

tuna tartine top view

I’d be remiss here if I didn’t mention the mercury/sustainability issues you need to be aware of when it comes to tuna consumption, though. The Natural Resources Defense Council has a great chart that details its recommendations for how often you can safely eat tuna.

Note that white albacore tuna is higher in mercury than light tuna; for this reason, I only eat it once a month or so (I did use it to make this salad). Light tuna is lower in mercury and can be enjoyed more frequently. As you can see in the chart, children should eat tuna even less often than adults, due to their lower body weight, and pregnant women probably shouldn’t eat it at all.


It’s best to buy from companies that catch tuna using sustainable methods. These are usually more expensive than the large brands that shall remain nameless, but they are generally a superior product taste-wise, too. If you aren’t able to find a good product in your area, Vital Choice carries sustainably-caught, low-mercury tuna (and it’s also “dolphin-safe”).

Tuna Tartine
From Almost Meatless by Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond; shared with permission of the authors


*1 (12-ounce) can tuna packed in water, drained
*2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
*1 hard-boiled egg, cooled and chopped
*1/4 cup pitted niçoise or picholine olives, chopped
*1 tomato, diced (about 1 cup)
*1/2 cup dried white beans, cooked, or about 1/3 (15-ounce) can, drained and rinsed (I used cooked chickpeas)
*1 stalk celery, chopped into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
*2 tablespoons minced red onion 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
*1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
*Pinch of sugar
*2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
*3 tablespoons olive oil
*Butter for toast (optional)
*Crusty French bread (boule or baguette), sliced 1/2 inch thick, toasted (I used my favorite sourdough)


1. In a bowl, combine the tuna, pine nuts, egg, olives, tomato, beans, celery, onion, and parsley.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, sugar, and lemon juice. Slowly whisk in the oil until a smooth emulsion forms. Pour the vinaigrette over the tuna mixture and toss gently to coat.

3. Butter each piece of toast if you wish and top with a few heaping spoonfuls of tuna salad.

tuna tartine

If you’d like to enter the giveaway for a signed copy of Almost Meatless, please leave me a comment about how you feel about eating fish. Do you eat it a lot? Or not much at all? What do you take into account when buying fish (Price? Wild vs. farmed? Mercury?) Where do you buy it? Do you worry about the health of our oceans? I’d love to know your feelings on this topic.

I’ll combine all the comments from this post with those from my last post, as well as comments related to these posts on my blog’s facebook page to determine a random winner. The giveaway closes Sunday May 23rd at midnight.

Leave a Comment

17 thoughts on “Tuna Tartine”

  1. I try to buy wild-caught fish, but have read conflicting reports about the level of mercury in ocean fish. Tuna used to be a weekly favorite lunch for our family, but now we have it much less ofen.

    I did, however, borrow the book Almost Meatless, from our library and loved the recipe for tuna tartines!!!

  2. This looks delicious! I love seeing a variety of recipes on here, including meat. There are a lot of issues involving meat choices (which options are healthiest and most sustainable), but with a little research it’s easy to choose. Thanks!

  3. Yummm…your recipes look fabulous!!! I love fish!! As far as salmon goes, I will not buy farmed salmon. In fact I rarely buy salmon, we mostly eat salmon we catch. I love tuna…steaks, canned, sushi, prepared however, but I do worry about the mercury content, especially for my son. Other fav’s include halibut and mahi mahi.

  4. First time here at your blog. I’ve been following the Mediterranean Diet the past months and eating healthier means fish at least 2 – 3 times a week. I have leftover beans from yesterday as this is a great way to use it. Thank you.

  5. Your pictures are just beautiful. I love your china…it adds so much! My husband and I only eat fish (no poultry or meat) and this recipe looks amazing. I can’t wait to give it a try.

  6. Honestly, I’m a bit intimidated about buying fish because it seems like such a large body of knowledge and so many people have provided varying concerns about what is healthy and sustainable. I found a nice, small fish market in the city I just moved to and think they will be a very helpful resource to get me comfortable.

  7. Patty, Chef Dennis, and Leslie: thank you!

    Ari: thanks for your thoughts. I find it so sad that tuna, something I ate so frequently as a child, can no longer be eaten without careful consideration…

    Georgie- I love smoked herring too…yum!!!

    Christina- sushi grade tuna is so wonderful, but again, you gotta watch out for the mercury. Maybe it’s best it’s expensive…that way you only enjoy it once in a while anyway ;)

    Barbara: sea bass “in the crazy water” sounds delicious!

  8. I don’t like fish, but try eating a couple of times a week. I really like the tuna preserved in oil, but also eat fresh fish, eg sea bass “in the crazy water” (cook in a little oil and salt water, tomatoes, onions), the roasted gilthead bream, codfish, sardines. When I buy fish I care to its area of origin and freshness. Thanks Thanks for sharing the great recipe!

  9. That’s a great recipe – and I learned what a tartine was!

    I would probably make it with salmon, since I am especially careful to avoid mercury, as we plan to be extending our family in the next few years. :) And I DO eat a lot of seafood – maybe 4 days a week. When I purchase seafood I look for wild salmon and other small fish like sardines and anchovies that are sustainable, low in contaminants and high in omega 3. Oh and smoked herring… I love smoked herring. :)

    Thanks for sharing the great recipe!


  10. As a pescatarian, I LOVE fish and rely on it as a protein source. However, I only choose sustainable and safe fish, meaning I don’t eat tuna. I do plan on making this recipe with wild-caught salmon, though!