Cafe Tuna Salad

Or maybe it's Cafe Feta Salad.

Cafe Tuna Salad

I guess I have a thing for hearty, comforting salads, because my current go-to take out meal is still the same one it was a year ago, and because the last time I ate the same meal with any frequency was 9 years ago in Israel, where I would go to a particular chain of cafes for its tuna salad. A massive gathering of romaine, tuna and veggies crowned with a layer of crumbled feta cheese would arrive, I would deem it too large to finish and then inevitably find myself frantically scrambling for every last crumble of salty cheese.

I recently found myself hankering for this particular salad, or maybe I was just hankering for the giant pile of feta, because beyond that, my memory was a little fuzzy on what should be included, except for a pile of crisp lettuce and a scoop of canned tuna. A cursory internet search of the cafe's menu showed me that but none of the salads on offer seemed anything like the one in my head, so I decided to rebuild from my patchy memory. I thought I remembered bell peppers, so I threw some of those in there, and tomatoes for a vaguely Greek vibe with the feta, and a boiled egg because why not more protein? I finished it off with a fan of avocado just because.

Regardless of whether this is truly a correct reimagining of that salad, it is a true interpretation of the size, I promise you. My finished assembly of lettuce buried under a mountain of toppings could easily serve two people for dinner, or four as a side. It’s a protein bomb with the tuna, egg, and cheese, but refreshing and crisp at the same time, with a zippy kick from a lemony dressing.

And so. much. feta.

Cafe Tuna Salad

Inspired by Aroma's Tuna Salad

Makes 1 giant salad, which serves 2 as a main dish and probably 4 as a side.

4 oz romaine hearts, chopped
juice 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
6 oz can tuna in water,drained
7-8 thin slices red bell pepper (about 1/3 of a pepper)
small handful cherry tomatoes
2 oz feta, crumbled
1 boiled egg
1/2 avocado

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice, dijon, salt and pepper, and olive oil and whisk together. Add the romaine and toss to combine. 
  2. Top the romaine with the remaining ingredients, and serve.