Ventresca de atún (tuna belly) is a gourmet canned product here in Spain that puts your average can of tuna fish to shame. Especially when it’s a can of wild Atlantic bluefin tuna (ventresca de atún rojo salvaje), fished by the old Phoenician method called Almadraba.
I received a can of this delicious tuna as part of a gift pack from a Spanish online shop called Macarena’s Deli Corner. (Tip: If you have a food lover in your life, a gift like this is sure to please!). Usually, I would have just eaten it as is, slice by tender slice of the country’s best quality tuna, perfectly conserved in extra virgin olive oil and with just a touch of sea salt. But I was feeling creative, and wanted to make a light and refreshing Spanish salad that would compliment, and not hide, the delicate texture and flavor of the fish.
What I came up with is the following Spanish salad recipe: a base of arugula, topped with ripe avocado, chunks of blood orange, slivers of tuna belly, crushed pistachio and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. It was delicious, and quite beautiful as well.
Tuna Belly, Blood Orange and Avocado Salad Recipe
- A handful of arugula (washed and dried)
- 1 blood orange, thickly sliced
- ½ avocado, thickly sliced
- 1 can of tuna belly (ventresca de atún), or the best quality canned tuna you can find. The recipe would also work with fresh seared tuna.
- About 10 pistachios, shelled and crushed
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- Arrange a line of the arugula in the center of your serving dish.
- Place the blood orange and avocado slices over the arugula.
- Place slivers of the tuna belly (or small chunks or slices of regular tuna) over the top of the salad.
- Sprinkle the crushed pistachios on top (to crush, put the shelled pistachios in a plastic bag and whack a few times with the flat end of a meat tenderizer).
- Drizzle with your best extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Tip: If not eating immediately drizzle with some blood orange juice so that the avocado doesn't turn brown so quickly.
And there you have it, an easy and delicious Spanish salad to make the most of a very special product. Let me know what you think!