Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuna* Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing

*Because this is the last jar of home canned tuna, this recipe is dedicated to my dad. Because he is out, and now we are too.

This is such a basic dish.  Who hasn't had only pasta, tuna, and some sort of cream soup in the cupboard, and thrown together tuna noodle casserole.  When I was ages 16 through 20 I worked at a little home daycare, and I'm pretty sure I ate the left overs from the kid's tuna noodle at least once a week.  I don't think I've had it since.  So a tuna salad sounded good last night, brought on by my dad talking about his lack of tuna all weekend. I read somewhere yesterday about substituting mayo or yogurt in salad dressings for pureed avocado.  I was so intrigued that I had to think of something to try it with.  So here goes...

What you'll need:
4 cups pasta (use your favorite)
2 cans tuna (1 jar home canned, if possible)
1 cup diced cucumber
1 cup frozen peas (not defrosted)
1 cup cheese cubed (I used sharp cheddar)
1/4 cup fresh basil sliced thin
1 cup diced tomato (cherry tomatoes halved would be best)

1 avocado
1/2 of a lime juice
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons pasta water (reserved from the cooked pasta)

Cook pasta with about a teaspoon salt in the water.  Once desired doneness, reserve at least 2 tablespoons of the starchy water for the dressing and run pasta under cold water. Once pasta is cool, add all salad ingredients into a large bowl.  In a blender or food processor add all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth.  Pour over salad and fold until everything is coated.  Be gentle to try and not break up the tuna chunks too much.

I'm thinking I might be experimenting further with the avocado dressing thing.  You don't get a lot of avocado flavor, but there is something really tasty and creamy going on there.  Yep, your definitely going to see that a few more times.  I think I might add a diced avocado to the salad next time to get a little more of the avocado flavor involved, but not totally necessary.  Enjoy!


  1. YUM, that dressing looks amazing!

    Oh and we have about 10 cans of home canned tuna sitting up in our cupboard if you ever want a few :) Tim and I get tuna-ed out easily....so it lasts us foreverrrr. Tim's dad gives it to us every year....