Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mock Tuna Salad

The July/August issue of Vegetarian Times had a recipe for a mock tuna salad made from sunflower seeds. I thought it looked intriguing and so yesterday when I was scrounging around for some sort of protein and fat-dense food, I stumbled upon the cup of pureed sunflower seed & pine nut mixture I had left over from my nut cheese-making adventure. I thought that this recipe would be the perfect way to use it up. After making some changes to the recipe based on my taste and what ingredients I had on hand, I found that I was right.

Once I tasted it, I realized how often we may try to mask certain flavors with other, stronger ones. This dish was very reminiscent of my favorite way to prepare tuna salad because of the strong notes of dill and celery imparted by dill pickles, fresh dill, celery and celery seed. I never never eat a can of tuna straight from the can, no seasoning, so really what I usually tasted in my salads were the melange of flavors from the many other ingredients. The nori strips added that fishiness or taste of the sea that you'd normally get from the tuna. All that and I did not have to fight off my cat as I ate it. A very satisfying salad.

Mock Tuna Salad

  • 1 cup soaked sunflower seeds and pine nuts*
  • olive oil or flax seed oil
  • juice of 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1/4 cup celery
  • 2 dill pickles
  • 2 T fresh dill
  • 1/4 t celery seed
  • small handful toasted nori strips
  • 1-2 T vegan mayonnaise
  • salt
  • pepper

  1. In the food processor, chop the soaked, drained* seeds and nuts very well.

  2. Drizzle in the oil and continue pulsing until the mixture is a rough pâté.

  3. Scrape the nut mixture into a large bowl and add the juice of 1/2 of a lemon.

  4. Finely dice the celery and dill pickles and add to the mixture.

  5. Chop up some dill, crumble a small handful of nori strips and add to the bowl.

  6. Add the mayo, celery seed and salt and pepper to taste, mixing well.

  7. Serve on a green salad or in a whole wheat pita.


  • I was making sunflower and pine nut "cheese" and had some leftover pureed nut mixture which I used for this.

    If you are going to make this from scratch, take your mixture of pine nuts and sunflower seeds and put them in a bowl. Cover them with cold water and let sit for 4 hours. Drain them very well and let sit for an hour to air dry. Then proceed with the recipe.

  • The nori added a hint of the sea to this. The original recipe called for dulse flakes, but I have no idea where to purchase those or other seaweeds. I can find nori pretty easily in my grocery store, so I used that.


Anonymous said...

Oh my gawd, Babs. I am so excited to make this for me and my uber-healthy sister.

Thanks, love!

B said...

You're very welcome! It was seriously delicious, and scarily similar to the real tuna salad.

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