One of the many great things about living in Spain is the fish counter in every supermarket. There’s a wide choice of fish, at reasonable prices, and the friendly, helpful staff will prepare it for cooking if you ask. However, it’s not always convenient to serve up fresh fish. Sometimes you want a quick, convenient healthy snack or meal, and that’s where canned tuna comes in. Most people keep a few cans of tuna in the store cupboard, but I discovered long ago that bigger is better, and when it comes to buying canned tuna, it’s best to Go Grande for a number of reasons.
Value for money
I large can of Nixe tuna – 900 grams and 650 grams drained weight – costs €4.99 in Lidl in sunflower oil and €5.99 in olive oil. 3 small cans, with enough in each to make a single round of sandwiches or top a baked potato will cost anything from €1 to €2, depending on the brand and the quality. You’ll get around 8 generous servings from the large tin, and it can be stored in the fridge in the specially designed can for at least 5 days.
The tuna in the large cans is really chunky, rather than flaky, so although it’s canned in oil, it’s easy to drain most of it away. You’re left with big, meaty chunks of tuna that go great in any meal or snack, and because it’s so chunky, it’s big on flavour too. It’s the nearest thing you’ll get to fresh tuna. The tuna in the smaller cans is more flaky, and can retain a lot of oil, so it’s not such a good eating experience.
Canned tuna can be used in pasta bakes, as a filling for baked potatoes or in sandwiches and tapas. Make a speedy sauce for penne pasta with onions, peppers, mushrooms, herbs, tomato frito and canned tuna. Just stir in the tuna when the other ingredients are cooked through.
I like to mix it with a little mayonnaise, lemon juice and sweetcorn and pile it into dainty cogolla (little gem) lettuce leaves, or halved small, sweet pequillo peppers. It makes a tasty tapa that people can just pick up and eat, and the crisp lettuce and peper gives a perfect texture and taste contrast to the tuna.
Next time you’re shopping, why not Go Grande and see how many ways you can find to use canned tuna? In the unlikely event that there’s any left, your dog or cat will enjoy it, and the Omega-3 in the fish is good for their coat. Enjoy!