Tuna pesto sandwich with radishes and avocado.

I’ve been eating a lot of tuna salad lately.  Mostly for lunch, though occasionally for breakfast instead.  I’m not sure this is a good thing, given the mercury and the fact that I’ve begun a diet and it’s not exactly a waist-friendly lunch, but I’ve also been working out good and hard at the gym and may even go to a meditation class tonight (to clear my head of this mercury, I hope) so it all evens out.

And it’s really just too good to give up.  In it, there’s a homemade spinach pesto that I made the other night for a mozzarella salad; pesto is one of those ingredients that you forget how valuable it is until you make up a batch, then realize you can make miracles out of any ol’ sandwich, or salad, or egg, or anything for that matter—homemade pesto is what miracles are made of.

And this pesto is so easy, and imprecise, that you don’t need a recipe.  Take a few handfuls of fresh spinach, locally grown if you can find it (and I know you can in New Jersey), zap it in the microwave for about a minute, then squeeq out all the water you can to make it as dry as possible.  Now throw that in the food processor with a small handful of pine nuts, another small handful of roughly chopped parmigiano cheese, and a grating of lemon zest.  Whirl it up and once it’s starting to meld, drizzle in some olive oil until you get a smooth paste.  Season with salt and pepper and ta-da: delicious.

Now that you’ve got the pesto, anything’s possible.  I’ll give you my example of goodness, because I’m quite fond of it—tuna pesto sandwich with radishes and avocado—but please do send me some of yours.

Tuna Pesto Sandwich

serves 2

  • 1 can tuna, preferably sustainably-caught and packed in oil
  • 1 heaping teaspoon homemade spinach pesto (see above)
  • 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon pickle relish
  • small handful of radishes, sliced thinly and roughly chopped
  • half an avocado
  • 4 slices grainy bread

In a medium bowl, combine tuna, peso, mayonnaise, relish, and radishes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mound tuna salad on two slices of bread.

Scoop out the avocado flesh from the peel and mash it into a paste.  Slather avocado on other two slices of bread.  Create two sandwiches with both a tuna and avocado half.  Eat up.

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27 thoughts on “Tuna pesto sandwich with radishes and avocado.

  1. Man, that looks good. The radishes in particular are appealing to me. Just planted some too. Shall make this precise sandwich the first use of them!

  2. Ellen says:

    i like to do make mine with a can of oil packed tuna, about 2 T plain yogurt, diced shallot, diced red pepper, a teaspoon of pesto (i use basil), a teaspoon or two of dijon mustard, juice of half a lemon and i also like to chop up a pepperoncini or two. on some bread with arugula and tomato, maybe a little goat cheese or feta. it’s really good and quite healthy!

  3. Canned tuna is really addictive because it’s so handy. You can do ANYTHING if you have tuna and eggs on hand. But yeah, you really shouldn’t be having more than a whole can every two weeks – especially if you’re having yellowfin or albacore – the regular crappy packed in water ones are probably better for you (heavymetal-wise) but it’s just not as nutritious.

  4. A. J. P. Crown says:

    Oh, thank you Robin for this. I’ll have it tomorrow. Yippee! God, I’m not even hungry and I could eat one right now.

    • Oh me too, me too. But I’ve decided to skip the sandwich and drink tomato juice for lunch this week–god damn it for wanting to fit into my bathing suit this summer!

  5. Radishes and pesto are definitely not the sorts of things I’d think to pair with a tuna sandwich, but looking at that photo, I think I’m going to have to change my perspective.

  6. It can’t be too bad – at least you’re eating all natural stuff, right? 🙂 This looks like my kind of sandwich though, so maybe I’m biased.

    P.S. Sorry for my last comment if it was a bit odd. *Open mouth, insert foot*

    • True, true. Not too bad. 😀

      And, nonono! Your comment wasn’t odd at all. I meant to write you back but have been suffering a hell of a migraine lately. (I’m still planning to write you and hope that you are doing just fine and seeking out nature and loving yourself (even if that sounds odd) and you are so wonderful Melissa!) HUGS!

  7. The pesto and radish slices liven things up—add in the avocado mash and it’s a dream!
    My usual is water-packed tuna, scallion slices, bits of dill pickles and dill havarti cheese, a dollop of Dijon mustard and a few sprinkles of s&p.

  8. Nicole says:

    I just made a big batch of spinach pesto yesterday – it’s the best! I typically use it for pasta and pizza, but will definitely have to try this sandwich soon.

  9. Louise says:

    Simply divine! I’ve been on a bit of a tuna sammy kick lately, and this will provide a nice alternative to my norm. Love the radishes in there, as a little crunch is always welcome in a sandwich!

  10. Ooh, you’ve given me dinner for tonight! Yum! The radishes and avocado are a set of inspired additions.

    Since you asked, I thought I’d share an idea with you. We vegetarians make a tasty fake tuna fish using mashed chickpeas. If you’re worried about the mercury in tuna, a faux tuna sandwich spread can satisfy cravings and alleviate fears. Of course it’s not a dead ringer for tuna, but it’s a great lunch option. And who doesn’t have a can of chickpeas in her cabinet at all times? http://lifeloveandfood24.blogspot.com/2007/09/homeward-bound.html

    Lovely post, Robin 🙂

  11. so, one of my alltime favorite things in the entire world is tuna salad on a sesame bagel with iceburg lettuce. your version looks damn fine though…

    i really do love it so – but rarely eat it anymore. when i do it’s the fancy ortiz stuff. heaven.

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