With tomatoes at the height of their season, this fabulous salad hits all the right notes. No cooking, easy to prep, and tasty as all get out—providing you use great tomatoes. All we needed was one because the heirloom that we picked up at the local farmer’s market weighed in at a whopping 1 1⁄2 pounds and was bright red all the way through!
According to the Milk Street article where this recipe came from, pipirrana is a summery, tomato-centric salad from Andalusia in southern Spain. Consider it gazpacho in chopped-salad form. Their version of pipirran con atún, includes tuna, and hard-cooked eggs, making the dish hearty enough to be a satisfying main course. The vegetables are left in largish chunks instead of a fine dice, as is common. The onion is thinly sliced and steeped in sherry vinegar for a few minutes to tame its bite.
One thing you want to stay away from here is canned tuna packed in water. The flavor of tuna in olive oil is richer and its texture more velvety. And by all means, when you drain the tuna, do it over a bowl and use it when making the vinaigrette, adding olive oil as needed to make up the difference. Don’t know why most recipes fail to mention this step.
We drained the pickled onions directly over the bowl holding the tuna olive oil. This is used to make the vinaigrette that dresses the salad. We were blown over by how good this simple salad was—made even better with a chilled glass of crisp Spanish white wine.
Andalusian-Style Tomato Salad with Olive Oil Tuna
- 1½ lbs. ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into ½-inch chunks
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 3 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
- 1 medium green or red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¼ cup drained capers
- 2 5-oz. cans olive oil–packed tuna, drained and flaked into small pieces (don’t discard the olive oil from the tuna can, save it to make the vinaigrette)
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, cucumber and ½ teaspoon salt. In a medium bowl, stir together the onion, vinegar and ¼ teaspoon salt. Let both stand for about 10 minutes.
- Place a large strainer over the bowl containing the oil from the canned tuna. Pour the onion slices and their juices into the strainer, pressing down to remove most of the vinegar. Add the drained onions to the tomato-cucumber mixture.
- Add the bell pepper, capers and tuna to the vegetables, lightly stir.
- To the vinegar oil mixture, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the egg wedges.
Adapted from a recipe for Milk Street