What makes a good tuna salad a great one? The answer, often, is balance: Weighing the fishiness of the tuna with the fatty mayo and the tang of citrus in a combination of complementary flavors. The same goes for texture; tuna salad can be mushy and soft, so mixing in something crisp helps keep the mouthfeel from becoming one-note. Traditionally, a little celery adds that much-needed crunch, but other fresh veggies can get the job done as well — or even fruit. If you've never tried chopped apples in your tuna salad, now's the time to give this unexpected ingredient a chance.
You may have heard of chopped apples in chicken salad, especially in Waldorf-style chicken salads, but adding this crunchy fruit to tuna isn't quite as common. It's a combination that makes more sense than you'd think, though. Apples offer not just a crisp texture but a juicy, subtle, sweet flavor that adds even more depth and lightness to what can be a heavier salad. And if you're planning on turning that tuna salad into a tuna melt, apples and cheese are known to play well together, making your sandwich all the more delicious.
Which Apples Work Best For Tuna Salad?
There is a huge variety of apples at the grocery store, from classics like Red Delicious to newer hybrids, but which types of apples work best in a tuna salad? It all boils down to preferences in flavor and crispness.
The apples in your salad are meant to provide that much-needed crunch, and certain varieties will offer that in spades. Honeycrisp apples are well-known for their crispy texture; Pink Lady, Fuji, Gala, and McIntosh apples also hold a pleasant crunch and can be easily found at most supermarkets.
When it comes to flavor, there's a bigger decision to be made: sweet, tart, or a hybrid of both? For sweetness, Fuji or Gala apples provide a light, fresh flavor with a touch of sugar. Granny Smiths are a classic choice if you prefer something with a bit more sourness, or you can strike a balance of sweet and tart with Honeycrisps, which offer a middle road between the two extremes. At the end of the day, it's up to individual preference, so don't be afraid to experiment with different apple varieties — or even try a combination of multiple different types.
Extra Additions For An Apple Tuna Salad
While tossing apples into a classic tuna salad recipe in place of, or alongside, celery can certainly yield delicious results; other ingredients play well with apples that can heighten your salad's flavors even further. One classic addition is nuts: Just as in a Waldorf salad, the nutty flavors combine well with the sweetness of the apple. Sliced, toasted almonds, walnuts, or pecans all work swimmingly.
Another addition that works well in the mix is a spoonful of raisins or craisins, depending on your preference. Fruity and sweet or a little tart, they add a pop of extra tang and still more texture to the salad, building upon the flavors of the apple.
Depending on how chunky you like your tuna salads, you can mix and match these extra additions as you see fit, but combined, they create a unique and delicious meal that's just as good on a bed of greens as it is between two slices of wholesome bread.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.