I know some of my readers don’t eat canned tuna, but I grew up on it and I always have a can or two at home. The solid white albacore in water is what I use to make the standard tuna-fish sandwich. But I use tuna in oil on occasion to make a very rich pasta sauce. Recently Genova, a brand of Tri-Union Seafoods (aka Chicken of the Sea), was nice enough to send me a coupon for a free can of their various types of canned tuna. Considering I already have a can of their albacore tuna, I decided to grab a can of their yellowfin in extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. I have tried this before, but it has been so long that it may as well be my first time. Let’s see what lies under the lid.
It’s a pretty standard 5 ounce can of tuna, with a convenient pull tab. I find the pull tabs are easier to open, but make it harder to drain. I like my tuna well drained, using the lid top to hold back the fish while I get most of the water or oil out. There is a large MSC certification label and a small Dolphin Safe label as well. The bottom of the can had a printed expiration date and mentioned that my can of tuna is a product of Thailand
Once I drained most of the oil I took a look at the fish. It looked good, but I’m not sure I’d consider it “solid”. A quick twist of the fork is all it took to break up the entire can, but it wasn’t the minced up mush you find in some brands of chunk-light tuna. A taste straight from the can was very tasty, the dark meat and the olive oil gave it that richness usually associated with oily fish on the grill, but with none of the fishy flavor. If you ever had canned Italian tuna, which is usually bigeye, it is very similar in taste. It would work well on its own, on some crusty bread, or perhaps in a salad Nicoise.
This is not a recipe, this is what you do when you didn’t go shopping in a week. After draining and breaking up the tuna, I used it to top a Dr. Oetker thin crust frozen pizza. It is a lame attempt to duplicate those cheap, but tasty Turkish style pizzas you see in Europe. That’s where I learned that tuna on a pizza is a thing.
Add some capers and some black olives and cook to near the maximum suggested cook time on the pizza box and that’s it. Keep an eye on it since you may need to adjust your cooking time depending on how much you pile on. I put almost the entire can, with enough tuna and capers to put on a few crackers tomorrow.
Not bad at all, in fact it is much better than I anticipated. The tuna was still very moist and the briny capers and olives were just what it needed to balance it out. In a way it does take me back to those days of eating cheap on the streets of Paris, Brussels and Berlin with my future wife. I’m sure part of the nostalgia is the fact we were eating anything as we visited the great cities of Europe. But hey, good is good and this surprised me. I may make another one of these in the future, cheap and packed with flavor.
Genova Yellowfin in Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a good choice for canned tuna fans, and just different enough from the solid albacore to be interesting. Also, unlike chunk light tuna, I don’t feel that I’m eating cat food. Thank you Genova brand for sending me the free coupon, as you can see, I enjoyed it.