Quick Curried Tuna And Chickpea Salad With Tarragon

By Calm Eats Please go to CalmEats.com for many wonderful recipes

This Quick Curried Tuna and Chickpea Salad with Tarragon is a perfect way to spruce up your lunch and invite flavor into your day.

Quick Curried Tuna and Chickpea Salad with Tarragon in black bowl on napkin
Can of tuna, radicchio, apple in bowl
Radicchio on table

It struck me that we’re only weeks (maybe by the time the post is live, days) away from a new year. Most of us may want to vehemently deny this year ever even happened, but of course, it did. And I can’t speak for anyone else, but I felt the challenges in every fiber of my being. Much has been and still is uncomfortable. There is a stubborn aura of agitation and nervousness that enveloped me and has yet to lift.

But somehow when reflecting on this unnerving year, I can’t help but think that some growth has to come as a result despite the indelible mark it will leave. I may not know what this growth is yet, but as with all things in life, one day I’ll look back and it will all make sense. Life is just like that.

Though for me the biggest takeaway from 2020 thus far has been human resilience. I’ve had to hold back tears seeing how my small children adjusted to life among a pandemic, how nearly everyone did their part in order to keep a stranger safe. I’ve come to respect all the business small and big for doing what they had to and bending this way and that in order to make things work while keeping us safe.

So my last post for the year will feature one of my all-time favorite companies – St. Jude Tuna, which is a Seattle-based, remarkable tuna company that makes the best canned tuna I’ve tasted. Honestly, I have yet to try anything that comes remotely close to the quality and taste. And frankly, when I don’t have it on hand, I feel slightly cheated. Simply nothing else compares.

To honor this exquisite tuna, I wanted to bring in some complimentary flavors and shake things up a little. Curry, chickpeas, tarragon, apple, and radicchio mix wonderfully with the hearty tuna, creating a flavorful salad that’s perfect on its own, over greens, in sandwiches, or wraps.

I’ll be honest, I gravitate towards recipes that can be made on a whim, that taste good, and can be easily incorporated into my day. I find this recipe to be just that. Perfect for when you want something quick, but with flavors that will leave you saying…ooooh. Practical and flavorful don’t have to be mutually exclusive after all, don’t you think?

With that said, let’s get to today’s Quick Curried Tuna And Chickpea Salad With Tarragon.

Cans of tuna stacked
 Quick Curried Tuna and Chickpea Salad with Tarragon in black bowl with fork

Quick Curried Tuna And Chickpea Salad With Tarragon

  • Nutritious, easy to make, and full of flavor
  • Gluten, grain, and dairy-free
  • Low carb, satisfying, and filling
  • Ready in minutes
  • A different take on the classic tuna salad

Why Good Tuna Matters

Because tuna is the most important ingredient in this salad, I like starting with the best quality I can find. This is where St. Jude Tuna comes in. The Olive Oil Mediterranean Packed Tuna adds unmatched quality and taste making it perfect for this curried tuna and chickpea salad.

Canned or Fresh Chickpeas

That’s entirely up to you and your preference. What I do recommend, however is always peeling the chickpeas before mashing them. The skin is easy to peel and because we’re only adding about 1/4 cup, it’s a small commitment.

Quality Curry Powder Makes A Difference

Because we’re not cooking the curry, you want the freshest possible curry powder for this salad. Fresh and good quality really do make a big difference.

Do You Need Radicchio

I love the hint of bitterness in the salad and find radicchio to be an underestimated ingredient. A little bit goes a long way in balancing all the flavors.

What Apple Variety Is Best In this Curried Tuna And Chickpea Salad

I like sweet, crunchy apples in the salad and find Fuji, Honeycrisp or Gala to work best. But of course, once you make this recipe, it’s yours for experimenting and you can try whatever variety of apple you prefer.https://deaceb8791fdcca98fb65c4aba1cd4cd.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

What If No Fresh Tarragon Is Available

Tarragon is not available all year long though some markets do carry it. If that’s the case, you can use a good quality dried tarragon instead.

Ingredients For Quick Curried Tuna And Chickpea Salad With Tarragon

  • St. Jude Mediterranean Tuna
  • Cooked or Canned Chickpeas
  • Curry Powder
  • Ground Coriander
  • Chopped Apple
  • Chopped Celery
  • Fresh Tarragon
  • Mayo
  • Radicchio
  • Salt

Making Quick Curried Tuna And Chickpea Salad With Tarragon

Step 1. Finely chop about a 1/4 of an apple so you end up with roughly 2 tbsp. Do the same with a stalk or two of celery ending with about 2 tbsp. Slice a leaf of radicchio (or more if you’d like) and set aside.

Step 2. In a large bowl, break up the tuna completely until you have small chunks.

Step 3. In a small bowl mash chickpeas with a fork and set aside.

Step 4. Combine all ingredients with the tuna and mix very well. Top the salad with additional radicchio.

Quick Curried Tuna and Chickpea Salad with Tarragon in hands
Quick Curried Tuna and Chickpea Salad with Tarragon in little bowl
Quick Curried Tuna and Chickpea Salad with Tarragon in bowl with avocado roses and spinach


Quick Curried Tuna and Chickpea Salad with Tarragon

Quick Curried Tuna and Chickpea Salad with Tarragon5.0


  • 1 can St. Jude Mediterranean tuna, drained
  • 1/4 cup cooked and peeled chickpeas
  • 1 tsp good curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped apple
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped celery
  • 1-2 tsp freshly chopped tarragon or 1/4-1/2 tsp dried
  • 2 tbsp good mayo
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2-3 tbsp freshly chopped radicchio


1. Finely chop about a 1/4 of an apple so you end up with roughly 2 tbsp. Do the same with a stalk or two of celery ending with about 2 tbsp. Slice a leaf of radicchio (or more if you’d like and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, break up the tuna completely until you have small chunks.

3. In a small bowl mash chickpeas with a fork and set aside.

4. Combine all ingredients with the tuna and mix very well. Top the salad with additional radicchio.https://www.youtube.com/embed/8ECzajMZxJo© Daniela ModestoDECEMBER 15, 2020ByDANIELA MODESTO

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White Bean Tuna Salad with Artichoke Hearts

Recipe by Daniela of Calm Eats:


Here is an easy White Bean Tuna Salad with Artichoke Hearts recipe, that requires mostly pantry items. It’s quick, delicious, nutritious and filling.

White bean tuna salad with artichoke hearts in bowl with dark colored napkin and lemons

St. Jude Canned Tuna and Lemons
White Beans, artichokes, cans of tuna, lemons, sliced cabbage and dried oregano
White Bean salad with tuna capers and artichoke hearts in bowl
White Bean Tuna Salad with Artichoke Hearts in bowl, sliced cabbage and lemon halves

This White Bean Tuna Salad with Artichoke Hearts is:What do you need to make White Bean Tuna Salad with Artichoke Hearts?

The beauty of this recipe is that most of the ingredients are shelf-stable and those that are not can be substituted or left out entirely, depending on availability.

Tips and substitutions

Canned vs. Cooked beans

This is entirely up to you. If you’re sensitive to legumes, I would recommend soaking dried beans overnight, cooking them for 45 minutes (or until desired softness) in fresh water and letting them cool. Otherwise, canned will work just fine.

Marinated Artichoke Hearts

Marinated artichoke hearts add a nice tangy flavor to this white bean tuna salad, but if you can’t find marinated, canned will work just as well. Or even fresh if you want to go the extra length.

Fresh dill vs. dried

Fresh is always best for this salad but again, if you can’t find any at your local market or ran out of fresh, using a little dried dill will add a nice flavor without overpowering.

Rice wine vinegar

If you don’t have rice wine vinegar, you can substitute with white vinegar. Rice wine vinegar is milder and a little sweeter than white vinegar so add just slightly less than 1 tsp.


Using fresh lemon is great, but you can easily substitute bottled lemon juice.


No shallot, no problem. You can use either red onion or sweet onion to give you that nice bite.

More Tuna Recipes you may like:

White Bean Tuna Salad with Artichoke Hearts in bowl and on small plate
White Bean Tuna Salad with Artichoke Hearts on small plate with cans of tuna in the background


White Bean Tuna Salad with Artichoke Hearts

Create Pinterest PinWhite Bean Tuna Salad with Artichoke Hearts5.0 Stars (3 Reviews)Print

Here is an easy White Bean Tuna Salad with Artichoke Hearts recipe, that requires mostly pantry items. It’s quick, delicious, nutritious and filling.PREP TIME10 minutesTOTAL TIME10 minutes


  • 2 cans Olive Oil Mediterranean Tuna 
  • 2 Cups Cannelini Beans
  • 8-10 Marinated Artichoke Hearts
  • 1 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Shallot
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Dill or 1/2 tsp Dried
  • 1 tbsp Rinsed Capers
  • 6 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice 
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Sliced Red Cabbage


  1. In a small bowl combine shallot, with olive oil, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, salt, pepper and oregano. Miss well and set aside.
  2. In a large shallow serving bowl, add beans, break up tuna, add artichokes, capers and toss with dressing.
  3. Top with sliced cabbage and chopped dill. Serve right away.
  4. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days.

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St. Jude Tuna Fillets with Mango Salsa.

by Sunset Magazine.

A fresh tropical fruit salsa is a welcome addition to peppery tuna steaks in this easy but stylish dish.


 1 lb of mangos (may use nectarines, or papaya)

1/4 diced red onion

1 fresh jalapeno (rinsed , stemmed)

2 T chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 T lime juice

Salt 2 6 oz. tuna steaks (1 inch thick)

2 t olive oil and coarse ground black pepper

Servings Makes 2 servings

How to Make It

Peel and seed mango ( or could use papaya or nectarines) ; cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

In a bowl, mix mango, onion, chili, cilantro, and lime juice. Add salt to taste. Set aside while preparing fish or cover and chill up to 4 hours.

Rinse fish and pat dry. Coat both sides of steaks with oil and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Heat a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over high heat; add fish and cook, turning once, until opaque on both sides but still pink in the center (cut to test), 1 to 2 minutes total. Transfer steaks to plates and spoon salsa over servings.

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by Calm Eats Calmeats.com

Best Classic Tuna Salad Recipe (Paleo and Whole 30)

*This post may contain affiliate links. The earnings go back to supporting the content created on this site. JUMP TO RECIPE

Here is a classic tuna salad recipe that will never get old. It is simple to make, low carb, paleo and whole 30 approved and absolutely delicious!

Tuna salad on plate with avocado, orange pepper, greens and sliced radishes and a can of St. Jude Tuna

Tuna salad on plate with avocado, orange pepper, greens and sliced radishes

I found a large rock, which provided a fine seat and took a bite of my very late lunch. The sun beating on whatever part of me that wasn’t covered up, which wasn’t much. After all 43 is still cold but alfresco seemed like a good idea. Eyes closed, I soaked up the sun. My children’s gleeful voices cutting through jovial bird songs, as they made their way from mud to snow and back again, squealing with delight.

The sky was a piercing shade of blue. Next to me a cluster of snow drops swaying in the breeze. Picking one up, I studied its detail. Every year, I feel a jolt of excitement the moment I spot them. An announcement of what’s to come; green, life, a new season.

Seeing the familiar through fresh eyes occurs to me from time to time, particularly in the kitchen. Oddly enough this happened with nothing more than the very tuna I was eating. What? Tuna? Yes.

I’ve had years to figure out what I like and don’t like and am open to exploring and learning. But there’s something to be said about the tried and true. Flavors and combinations that work synergistically, that compliment each other the way an exposed collar bone and an off the shoulder sweater do. They’re sexy – they work.

So how do you make tuna salad sexy? You add the things you’ve probably eaten your whole life but you tweak them a bit and use St. Jude’s tuna as the base. When it comes to making a delicious tuna salad, quality is key. And for me, it doesn’t get better than using a delicious tuna, that’s sustainably and wild caught. And don’t forget about the mayo and mustard – make sure they’re of good quality too as they can really make or break a salad.

Tips for making classic tuna salad

There are some flavors that are quintessential. They just work. And this classic tuna salad recipe is no exception.

Start with good tuna

A good tuna salad beings with obviously great tuna. And this amazing canned tuna from St. Jude Tuna has all the elements you want in a great canned tuna. It’s sustainably sourced, wild caught and produced in small batches.

Good condiments make good tuna salad

I’m a big believer in home made mayo. It takes just a few minutes to make and requires a handful of pantry staples. If you want the recipe, you can find it right here. If you’d rather purchase, look for a quality mayo that doesn’t overpower.

Next is mustard. I don’t make my own but I do like using a good quality Dijon mustard. I do recommend using only Dijon and not regular yellow mustard for this tuna salad.

How to make classic tuna salad

Besides canned tuna, mayo and Dijon mustard, you’ll need red onion, celery, dill, chives, salt and pepper. It’s that simple. Combine all ingredients and serve. 

I find that the tuna salad is actually even better after it’s had a little time to sit, as all the ingredients really get to know each other! 🙂 

Substitutes for classic tuna salad

If you don’t have any chives on hand, don’t worry about it as the red onion will provide ample flavor. Also, if you want to substitute dried dill for fresh you can. Instead of 1 tbsp fresh, just use one tsp dried. I think fresh is always best but if you don’t have it, no worries.  

Other tuna recipes you may like: 

4 cans of st. jude tuna with blue labels

Tuna salad on plate with avocado, orange pepper, greens and sliced radishes

Tuna salad on plate with avocado, orange pepper, greens and sliced radishes and a can of St. Jude Tuna


Classic Tuna Salad Recipe

Create Pinterest PinClassic Tuna Salad Recipe5.0 Stars (1 Reviews)Print

A classic tuna salad recipe that will never get old. It is simple to make, low carb, paleo and whole 30 approved.PREP TIME10 minutesTOTAL TIME10 minutes


  • 2 cans St. Jude Tuna with juice
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup good mayo
  • 1 tsp good Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp chives, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • optional: add salt to taste as the tuna already contains sea salt


  1. Add tuna to bowl and break up with fork. Add remaining ingredients and combine well.
  2. Serve with greens and your favorite toppings.

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  • – Original #canned-original

Nutrition Information:





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St. Jude Mediterranean Grilled Tuna

Minutes to Prepare: 15

Minutes to Cook: 10

Number of Servings:  4


Uncooked Fresh or Frozen ( thawed Albacore tuna Medallions 1 inch thick to feed 4  (1.5 pounds)

1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt – Kosher
Lemon Juice from 1 wedge of lemon 1/2 tsp
1/4 tsp Cracked black pepper freshly ground
1/2 tsp finely chopped oregano or 1/4 tsp dried
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or dash crushed dried
1 tsp finely chopped basil or 1/4 tsp dried
Garlic, 1 clove minced fine


1) Preheat Outside Grill on Medium High setting when you start your prep. Or start your charcoal grill about 30 minutes before you plan to grill tuna.

2) Pat tuna steaks with paper towels to remove excess moisture then place in a shallow dish.

3) Mix all spices with oil and lemon juice in a small bowl with a fork or wisk. Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes to blend together.

4) Brush mixture on both sides of Tuna steaks and allow steaks to rest for another 5 minutes.

5) Grill steaks on hot grill or iron cast pan on each side less than a minute per side to attain desired doneness. For well-done there should still be some pinkness to the center. Most prefer barely warm centers
Overcooking to a uniform color would be a sad waste of a great dish!

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St. Jude Dill tuna and Chickpea Appetizers

This Recipe Blog post was written and Created by Calm Eats. All of these beautiful photos were created and taken by Calm Eats. Please go to Calmeats.com and experience amazing food art.

6 minutes Total Time 16 minutes


  • 2 6oz cans St. Jude Dill Tuna
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup peeled chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp chives + 1 tsp
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp avocado or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp chopped capers


  1. Combine mayo, dill, chopped capers, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard and chives. Set aside.
  2. Combine tuna, chickpeas, eggs, 1 tbsp chives, pepper and form into 20 small patties.
  3. Pre-heat pan on medium-high and add oil.
  4. Cook Dill Tuna and Chickpea bites for 3 minutes per side until golden brown.
  5. Add to papertowel lined plate for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with Lemon Dill Sauce. Can be served warm or room temperature.

These simple Dill Tuna and Chickpea Appetizer Bites with Lemon Caper Mayo are quick to make, delicious and are perfectly fine served hot or cold. And can easily be turned into an entree.

These simple Dill Tuna and Chickpea Appetizer Bites with Lemon Caper Mayo are quick to make, delicious and are perfectly fine served hot or cold. And can easily be turned into an entree.

tuna chickpea appetizer bites on cutting board with lemon sauce, dill and bowl or mayo

St. Jude canned tuna on table

tuna and chickpea bits stacked on table topped with lemon mayo sauce and dill

tuna and chickpea bites on cutting board. one held between fingers with mayo and dill

It is irrefutable that canned tuna is one of the best and most convenient foods around. It is versatile, delicious, nutritious and makes for a quick meal. There is something quite comforting when I have a pantry stocked with it. Because as is often the case, when I haven’t prepared well enough or don’t feel like cooking, a trusted can is always at the ready to save the day.

But all canned tuna is not created equal and this makes all the difference. Every time we talk tuna, we can’t leave out a factor that is of inevitable concern – mercury. But this is why I’ve partnered once more with the fantastic people at St. Jude Tuna. They are conscientious about the way their tuna is caught and where it is caught. The tuna is also consistently tested for mercury and the “results have established that the average level of mercury contamination in our products has always been substantially less than the threshold of 1 ppm established by the Food and Drug Administration.”

This is one of the reasons that attracted me to working with a company that focuses on sustainability, small scale production, human health as well as the health of the ocean to produce a canned tuna that stands in a league of its own.

I’ve experimented with several of their canned tuna and they are all spectacular in their own way, but as an absolute lover of dill, I fell head over heels for their Organic Dill Tuna. It is the most flavorful tuna fish I’ve ever tried and works incredibly well in today’s recipe. So without further ado, let’s talk about these tuna and chickpea bites.

These dill tuna and chickpea appetizer bites are:

  • easy to make
  • quick
  • perfect as an appetizer or entree
  • low carb
  • grain-free
  • gluten-free
  • dairy-free
  • high in protein
  • provide the RDV of selenium intake
  • a good source of Omega 3 Fatty acids

What ingredients do you need for dill tuna and chickpea appetizer bites with lemon caper mayo?

This is what I love about making appetizers from ingredients you likely already have in your pantry and fridge. For these tuna and chickpea bites you’ll need 2 cans of St. Jude Organic Dill Tuna, eggs, peeled chickpeas (we’ll get into that in a little), chives, mayo, lemon, dill, capers, and lemon.

Why do you need to peel the chickpeas?

Because we’re only using 1/4 cup for this recipe, they will take you just a few minutes to peel. The reason is, we want a smooth consistency to the tuna bites. If you leave the chickpea skin on, it will add an unpleasant texture to the patties. Besides, once the chickpeas are crushed and smooth, they will act as our binding agent along with the egg. That’s why these patties won’t require any flour at all.

Tips for making dill tuna and chickpea appetizer bites with lemon caper mayo?

The most important part about these tuna bites is to break up all the ingredients as much as possible and combine them really well. The chickpeas can be either freshly cooked or canned but the important part is to run them under a little bit of warm water to soften them before peeling.

Once peeled, place them in a large bowl and mash them as much as possible with a fork until they’re a mushy consistency. Even if they’re pulverized some, that’s okay – you’re on the right track. The same with the canned tuna, break it up as much as possible until the pieces are quite small.

The best mayo for the lemon caper mayo

I may be biased here, but I think homemade mayo tastes best. To this day, I have yet to find a brand that stands up to the real taste of homemade. If you have a food processor and 2 minutes, you can make your own. Check out the recipe here!

If not, use your favorite mild tasting brand that doesn’t have too much-added flavor to overpower. This will ensure you’re getting all the flavor from the lemon, dijon, capers, and dill.

Best oil for cooking the dill tuna and chickpea bites

My favorite oil for cooking is avocado oil as it stands up well to heat. But if you only have extra virgin olive oil on hand, that will work well too. Just be sure to preheat your pan quite well so the patties sizzle the moment they touch the oil.

Once you’ve finished cooking the patties, let them rest on a paper towel-lined plate for a couple of minutes.

Should these dill tuna and chickpea appetizer bites be served hot or cold?

That’s the beauty of this recipe. These bites can be turned into a hot entree and served with your favorite side or can sit at room temperature as an appetizer. They taste delicious whether hot or room temperature. Or if you have leftovers, straight out of the fridge!

No matter what variation you choose, I hope you love these amazing tuna and chickpea bites as much as I do!

tuna and chickpea bites on plate with greens, lemon slices and lemon dill mayo.

tuna and chickpea bites on cutting board and parchment paper with lemon slices and lemon dill mayo

Tuna and Chickpea bites on plate with lemon dill mayo and St. Jude canned tuna,

Yield: 20 patties

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Night Fishing by Frank Malley

Night Fishing

                                                                                    by Frank Malley

            In the summer after sixth grade, 1961, I had met a man one evening while fishing/trespassing at the end of the dock for the members- only Port Washington Estates beach. I was casting a quarter-ounce Sidewinder lure for the snappers and white perch, fish that took advantage of the spotlight at the dock’s end to engorge the small sandworms that swam at the surface. Fishing had been very slow; one tiny snapper was all I had caught and released. I was thinking of leaving when a man I didn’t recognize walked out along the dock and stood by me. I figured he would probably kick me off the dock since I wasn’t a member, but he only asked me, “Any luck?”

            “One tiny snapper.” Suddenly we heard a big splash behind us. “That’s no snapper,” I said. I reeled in fast and hustled back down the dock to shallower water where there was sea grass nodding in the incoming tide. The man walked with me and stopped short, giving me room to cast and fish. I sent the sidewinder out into the dark, let it sink a little, and began a slower retrieve that I interrupted with sharp jerks.
            “That splash was probably a striper,” I said. “Sometimes I hear them feeding down here, but we never get one.” My brother Joe and I cast striper lures all the time: Striper Swipers, Gibbs plugs, chrome jigs – but we had never caught anything on these big lures.

            “I caught one,” said the man, and paused. Then added, “Almost thirty pounds.”

            “Wow! Thirty pounds! Not even Sam Willis catches thirty pounders! What did you catch it on?”

            Sam Willis was a man who sailed daily on his boat, the Striper, and he was by far the most successful striped bass fisherman around. Joe and I would try to be around when he’d return every day to the Town Dock float, tie up, and step off the boat with a canvas bag full of stripers. The fish were usually 16 to 20 inches long. In the fifties and early sixties, the big sport fish – striped bass, bluefish, weakfish, blackfish, and fluke – had been largely eliminated in western Long Island Sound by two factors: commercial net fisherman, and a complex water quality problem. The ecosystem of Manhasset Bay was totally different then from what it became after these two limiting factors were handled, but in 1961, it was rare to catch big stripers. Sam Willis filled his bag with stripers that cleared the size limit, then 16 inches. (It’s now 28″ and you’re allowed only one fish.) Sam would occasionally catch bigger stripers, fish whose tails would stick far out of the canvas bag he hoisted onto the float. He must have had a buyer for all these fish, but in the few conversations I had with Sam, I never asked that. It wasn’t my business.

            By 1961, after living in Port Washington for four years, I had caught only one keeper striped bass, and that beautiful fish barely made the 16 inch minimum size, from the tip of its snout to the fork in its tail. I didn’t think of it as little – compared to the six to ten-inch fish we usually caught in Manhasset Bay and Hempstead Harbor, my first keeper was huge. It had bit on a live killie while Mike Weisner and I were fishing for snappers off the Bayview Colony dock where he was a member. I was expecting to catch 6 inch snappers, and hooking a16 inch striper on my light spinning rod was a thrill. I took off for home almost immediately with my bass to show it off.

            The man on the dock’s account to me of a thirty-pounder was supercharged by all that I had read about striped bass fishing in magazines and books, always with pictures of big stripers weighing from twenty pounds up to the legendary 72 pounder (caught in Montauk, I think) that was then the world record. Plus, Louie’s Restaurant had photos hung on a wall in the bar showing fish catches from striper tournaments conducted by the Manhasset Bay Sportsmen’s Club. The contest days’ catches of bass were photographed showing rows of stripers hung by their gills on a white wood frame. In these pictures the fishermen in the tournament had practically filled the frame with stripers from 2 to 10 pounds. Photos in Louie’s and the two local tackle stores and the stories we heard from fishermen and George Moreland’s son at our preferred tackle store were like fishermen porn.

                        “So – ” I pleaded with Mr. Wells – “what did you catch that thirty-pound striper on?”

            “If I tell you, then you’d be catching them too. Less for me,” he answered.

            “Was it an unusual lure? We’ve tried all kinds of stuff. My brother and me.”

            “No, it wasn’t unusual.” He paused. “You want to see a picture of it? I live just up the street.”

            Sixty years ago was a more innocent time. I was fairly big and strong for my age.

            “Okay,” I said. I took my rod and tackle box and followed the man off the dock.

            “My name is Frank,” I said. “Pleased to meet you.”

            “I’m Mr. Wells,” he answered, and shook hands.

            We walked a couple of hundred yards to his house. He opened the garage door and we went into his finished basement. On a knotty pine wall, he pointed to a photo. The giant striper!

            “Wow! That is a beauty.” I stared hungrily at the photo of Mr. Wells holding by its gills a fish that hung from his waist to the floor.

            “Wow,” I said again. I looked at Mr. Wells. “So – you won’t tell me how you caught it or where you caught it?”

            “It’s more about when I caught it,” he answered.

            “Like sunrise?” Everybody knows first light is a great time to catch fish.

            He took a deep breath. I sensed he was going to tell me.

            “In the night. In the middle of the night. Right off the dock we were just on.”

            “Wow. Were you using sandworms?” Sandworms are a favorite striped bass bait. (In the fifties, they cost seventy cents a dozen at Moreland’s Tackle Shop; at the Trading Post, on the corner of Smull Lane, we felt robbed to pay seventy-five cents. Now sandworms and bloodworms cost over a dollar apiece).

            “Nope. Not sandworms.”

            ” Sandworms on a Junebug spinner?”


            “A plug? A Striper Swiper?”

            “Nope.” After a short pause, he hinted,” What I used is a common lure for stripers.”

            “Sam Willis uses bucktails,” I said, naming a lure that trailed a thatch of bucktail tied behind a jig head to cover its hook.

            “You got it,” he said. “With pork rind.” White strips made from pig skin and sold seasoned in a small jar made a sinuous addition to a bucktail as it moved through the water, and were used almost always.

            “So – off the dock in the middle of the night with a bucktail. With a pork rind. I mean, like midnight?”

            ” Later,” he answered. “After all the yacht club and boating activities are done, the fish come in.”

            Now I knew.

            I went home and told Joe the story.

            “We gotta do it!” he said to me.

            We had bucktails. The problem was: we weren’t allowed to be out after nine o’clock. Asking our dad to go down to Beachway at two in the morning wasn’t gonna work.

            “I got an idea,” said Joe. We hatched our plan and decided to make our expedition next Friday night. The high tide at would be at 3a.m.

            Friday morning we went into the basement and checked our tackle. For fish that could be that big, we needed bigger gear. I had an eight foot, medium-weight spinning rod that I paired with a Mitchell 302 reel, a sort of gigantic version of the world-famous Mitchell 300. Joe didn’t have a 302, so he borrowed my grandfather’s 306, bigger in number but oddly smaller in size than the 302. Both reels had only 12-pound test monofilament line, but the line was pretty new and the reels had drags that could pay out line during strong runs, preventing line breaks. Hopefully. We packed all the bucktails we could find, a jar of pork rinds, and a few striper plugs into a little green tackle box. We didn’t think to include a net.

            That Friday night, the night of the furtive nocturnal striper fishing expedition, we had probably eaten fish sticks: it was a Friday, and, since it had to be fish, Catholic kids preferred breaded fish sticks to other seafood alternatives. After dinner, we maybe watched My Three Sons, or Sergeant Bilco, and, most importantly, The Flintstones, an animated show that had come out in 1960. We all sat together to watch Fred and Wilma, Betty and Barney, go through their Honeymooners antics. We loved The Flinstones. Then the younger kids went to bed, and Joe and I stayed up to watch a nature show hosted by a man who’d answer questions from viewers.  (Joe and I once sent in the question, “Could a reticulated python kill a tiger?” In a program some weeks later, the host named us – on TV! – and gave a pretty incompetent answer to our question. But we were on TV! – sort of – and it was cool, or neat, or maybe boss; whatever youth exclamation was in vogue). Around 9 or 10p.m., Joe and I went upstairs to go to bed. But – in addition to the inevitable tooth brushing and washing, we each drank eight glasses of water.

            Biology is pretty reliable. Joe and I both woke up around 2a.m. to pee. We were silent in the bathroom, pissing artfully to avoid any splashing sound. Our mom had hearing like a bat, especially when it came to her kids. We dressed quietly, leaving our sneakers off till we got downstairs – sneakers weren’t sneaky enough. Barefoot was better.

            We went out the side porch door and got the tackle we’d put on the ground along side the porch so we wouldn’t bang awkward fishing rods or a rattle-y tackle box into a piece of furniture or a railing. I guess our reading of Hardy Boys adventure stories and watching TV crime shows had educated us about stealth. Sneakers on, we took off down Murray Avenue for Beachway beach, our access point to the Port Washington Estates beach. In those days, in the deeps of the night, there was virtually no traffic. The only sounds were from night insects and occasionally an AC unit, which were scarcer in those days. We watched a police car pass on Plandome road from behind a big oak tree and then, stepping eagerly but quietly, we made it to the Beachway gate, and climbed carefully over.

            We were already rigged to fish except that we needed to add the pork rind strips to our hooks. The strips were already perforated, so it was easy to slip them over the tip of the hook and past the barb. The tide was high, so we went to the spot where the Port Washington Estates beach aluminum fence had been climbed so often that is was functionally deformed and made trespassing easier. We set the rods down on the other side of the fence and carefully lowered and dropped the tackle box. Then we stepped on the bent aluminum mesh and straddled over right by the dock’s walkway.

            There was a little bit of a breeze that night and the rows of small waves whisked and ploshed into the dock’s walkway pilings as we went toward the float. The dock had a complete set of lights along the walkway and at the roofed porch at its end, but – something we hadn’t foreseen – the dock lights turned off at night. The light from the Port Washington Yacht Club’s dock about a hundred yards away was some help. But we young eyes, glasses or not, and possessed cat-like night vision.

            Mr. Wells had told me: “Jig along the sides of the float, four or five feet down, walking slowly. Joe and I began, absolutely focused and breathing shallowly as we awaited the strike from a big bass. Time passed and we walked and trailed our bucktails behind us in the darkness.

            “I think Mr. Wells was full of shit,” Joe murmured after about a half hour of jigging, practicing his evolving skill at cursing. I was discouraged too, and starting to get a little cold in a light shirt and short pants. It was a bit spooky in the dark. But we continued, moving our undulating lures through the murky water of the bay. 

            We were hearing splashes from over by the yacht club’s dock. Repeatedly. Some sounded like you dropped a concrete block into the water.

            “You hear that?” Joe hissed.


            “LET’S GO! OVER THERE!” he whispered triple forte.

            “Wait!” I started to stall; after all, the yacht club had watchmen, I was pretty sure, and we could get kicked off the dock – no problem except it would end our fishing; or, worse, he could call the cops. Disastrous. “Maybe we shouldn’t – “

            “I’m goin’. You stay here if you want.” There was another splash, the biggest one yet.

            I tightened my jaw and said, “Okay. Let’s go.”

            We had to wade to get around the yacht club’s fence. The water was black, impenetrable in the dark, and the high tide’s seaweed and debris swept against our shanks and thighs but we knew what it was. Pretty much. Stepping out of the water, we walked up the boat-launching ramp and peered carefully over the bulkhead that enclosed a square of lawn between us and the dock. We scanned the dimly lit interior of the clubhouse. Nobody around!

            Keeping low, alarmed by the jangle of the tackle box, we crabbed across the small lawn and started out the dock’s long walkway.

            About 75 feet out, Joe stopped.”I’m gonna try it here,” he said softly.”

            I shrugged and nodded.  “It’s high here. You’ll have trouble getting the fish onto the dock. Like eight feet up.”

            “I’ll walk him in to the beach,” he answered. “First I gotta get him.”

            I continued and went down the ramp at the end of the 200-foot walkway that ended in a terminal porch building that even had an office. Since the tide was high, the ramp to the floats hardly sloped down at all. The whole yacht club dock was brightly lit. (Sometimes visiting boats arrived at any hour of the day or night, so the dock and the floats were lit to accommodate whomever, whenever.)

            I opened my reel’s bail and lowered my bucktail into the water, sweeping it back and forth a few times to check its action – it snaked perfectly through the murky green brine.

            There were actually two thirty foot-long, connected floats here, and I walked slowly out, raising and lowering the lure. In the circles of light cast down by the elevated lights, small swimming worms and shiners pursued their meals. Occasionally a white perch or a snapper flashed upward, feeding. I heard a loud splash from behind me, where I had just fished. I reeled up and moved close to where I had seen the splash, and put the lure in the water. I took four steps and BAM! I set the hook. I was connected to the biggest fish I had ever hooked.

            “Joe!” I hissed fiercely. I realized I had no net! The fish ran vigorously, unstoppably, thrilling me, and I loosened the drag slightly so that the fish couldn’t outrun it and break the line. The universe had become that fish and me, each pulling from our domains in this brightly lit, man-made locus of life.

            I was twelve. I had never caught a fish like this, but I had read about them endlessly. I knew what to do. When the bass’s runs relented, I eased the rod upward to move him toward me, and then lowered the tip to recover that line. I did this repeatedly, and yet the bass would only run again as it sensed the nearness of the surface or the dock. It was fabulous to feel its strength.

            Finally, the fish was tiring. I brought it to the surface and it made one more violent, short run, shaking its head to free itself.  Then it lay on its side at the surface. “Shit!” I cursed. No net. No Joe, either. I set my rod down on the dock and grabbed the line at its tip. I lay down to reach the fish, a foot below me in the small waves. I got my right hand around it and gingerly let go of the line with my left. The fish convulsed powerfully and stuck my palm with its dorsal. It was a sharp pain but I held on bitterly and grabbed the fish from underneath with my freed left hand. Then I scootched toward the float’s center to pull the fish from the water. I slid it to the center of the float. Breathing hard, I marveled at the shining perfection of this animal I had caught. Joe was approaching and saw me from the end of the dock. He trotted down, hooting quietly with pleasure.

            “You did it! Wow. What a fish!”

            We were thrilled, but we weren’t ready to quit. I put the fish in an oar locker on the float, checked my rig, and went back to jigging my bucktail. Joe jigged nearby for a bit, but then he heard splashing back down the walkway where he had been fishing. He headed back there. There hadn’t been a sound from the clubhouse. We jigged intently, tantalized by occasional splashes.

            “I got one!” Joe almost yelled, and I heard his drag screaming from a hundred feet away. I put my rod down and ran towards him. This fish was big – clearly bigger than the one I had caught, simply based on how far it ran – it was out seventy-five feet from the dock, and had begun to swim powerfully in parallel to the walkway, toward the shore.

            From an older time, the yacht club dock had a couple of barnacled pilings set out a few feet from its walkway. Joe’s fish was out beyond these obstacles, waiting with their sharp, clinging mollusk coating for a piece of fishing line to cut. Joe’s fish was headed that way; he knew that if it got behind the old pilings, he would probably lose it.

            The big bass was still strong. It ran out away from the dock again, but then turned in, heading towards the pilings. Joe tried to walk it away, using all the leverage he could put on his twelve-pound test monofilament line, but he couldn’t stop the big fish – it pulled the line against those sharp shells and pop! It was over. We didn’t say anything for a minute.

            “Shit, Joe, that was a big fish.”

            “I got a look at it, right after I hooked it by the dock. It was like three feet long.” He reeled in his lureless line, wafting in the night breeze. “Shit,” he said, and looked at me.

            “We got more bucktails, right?” he asked.

            We did. He tied one on with a clinch knot, and went back to fishing, staying around where he’d hooked the big one. We knew that one wouldn’t bite again after the shock it went through, but we both knew about good spots – the spots where you hooked a fish became sort of magical, a lair for other big ones. I knew that if he hooked a fish, he would have trouble getting it to where he could land it, but I didn’t say anything. We paced and jigged.

            There was a faint glow to the east, not pink yet. Day was coming. Suddenly Joe yelled again, a suppressed Hah! I heard his reel whine as his fish took off. Joe immediately started walking away from the outrageous, useless pilings that had cost him his big fish. I put down my rod and walked to where he was, slowly walking out the dock as his rod arced in the dock lights, absorbing the power of this second fish.

            “It’s not as big,” he said. “But it’s big.”

            Joe let the fish keep away from the dock and its barnacles as he walked it out. “I’m gonna walk him out to the floats,” he said. He slowly plodded out the walkway, and then had to hand the rod to himself around the uprights that held the porch’s roof. But he did it, and the fish was still fifty feet from the structures as he walked down the ramp, reached the first float, and passed himself the rod around a piling. He moved to where he was away from floats pilings, and worked the fish in. It was tired, and he got it to where it was by the float in a minute or two. The fish shimmered in cloudy hallow of light by the dock and it took another short, fierce run – but it was done. It floated on its side in the water. Joe grabbed the sturdy bucktail, hooked securely in the bass’s lip, and hoisted it onto the float. It was about an inch shorter than my fish.

            We couldn’t see the sun yet, but it was light by the time we left the dock. Each of us carrying biggest fish we’d ever caught, we got over the fence and struggled home, carrying the fish by their gills with one hand and carrying the rods and tackle box with the other. We passed the tackle box back and forth to share the work. It was awkward and difficult, but we were carrying prizes and still full of our night’s adventure. When we got home, we entered by the side porch, leaving the rods and tackle boxes on the porch. We lugged our prizes up the stairs to our mom and dad’s bedroom, and knocked.

            Gloria softly called, “Come in,” and we did. Gloria gasped, and awakened our dad, who was dazzled by what he saw – each of his sons had a big, gleaming striped bass in hands, the biggest two fish any of us had ever caught. Excited examinations, wows, and exclamations went on for a minute, and then Gloria looked at her alarm clock, and asked, “What time did you go?”

            “I don’t know exactly, but it was still pretty dark,” I said.

            “Yeah. It was pretty dark out,” Joe said.

            Neither Joe nor I would make a full account available for years, but we shared all the fishing details with our dad. One night he actually snuck out on the yacht club dock with us to fish. I caught another striper!

            (The fish Joe caught was 27 inches long, and six and a half pounds.  Mine was 28 1/4 inches long, and almost eight pounds. The fish that broke Joe’s line was bigger, perhaps 15 or 20 pounds. In the early 70’s, after a decade or so of absence, improvements in water quality and an end to commercial striped bass fishing brought big stripers and big blue fish back to Manhasset Bay. Much bigger fish than the two we caught have become common, and indeed Joe and I caught these bigger stripers and bluefish up to almost twenty pounds. But our shared experience that night on the yacht club dock has remained undimmed in the more than fifty years that have passed since we caught those two silver beauties in the deeps of the suburban night).

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Tuna Chaffle Sandwich

 I am forced to change my eating habits.  After my life long love affair with sugar, I am looking for some low carb satisfying meals.  I have recently discovered chaffles, which are described as a cheese, egg waffle.  This recipe is truly low carb and satisfying- it makes three nice sandwiches for my family.  I am still researching and experimenting.  My goal is to find a recipe that does not need dairy. 

chaffle tuna

The recipe to make chaffles here made delicious bread and it was low carb.

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4  cup almond flour
  • 1/2 T baking powder
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 2 T melted butter
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Mix ingredients together and put batter into mini waffle iron and make a batch of chaffles.

Tuna Sandwich:  Take two chaffles and put together to make your  St. Jude tuna salad sandwich.  Pick any favorite St. Jude tuna flavor:  mix with a little olive oil and pepper.  Add red peppers, pepporcini, red onion, tomatoes and any other favorite toppings.

mini chaffle makers cost around 9.99

chafflechaffle mini

Posted in Cooking with tuna, Farmer's market, Farmers market, fishing, Good Food Award, health, Paleo, salad, Sandwich, Seasonal, St. Jude, Sustainability, Uncategorized, Whole 30 | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Salad Nicoise by Daniela of Calm Eats

Salad Nicoise may just be the most perfect salad ever invented! It’s protein rich, flavorful and packed with vegetables. A healthy lunch or dinner any time of year!

salad nicoise
salad nicoise
canned tuna
potatoes and green beans
salad nicoise

salad nicoise

  • prep time: 10 minutes
  • cooking time: 20 minutes
  • makes: 2 servings


  • medium pan
  • small mixing bowl
  • large mixing bowl
  • large serving plate


For the salad

For dressing:


In medium pot, bring 4 cups of water to boil. Slowly add eggs and cook for 7 minutes (set a timer). Carefully remove eggs and drop in large bowl of ice water for 1 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Add potatoes and beans to boiling water. Set timer for 4 minutes. Remove beans and add to ice water. Set timer for another 7 minutes for the potatoes. Remove potatoes and add to ice water as well.

Meanwhile whisk all ingredients under dressing.

To plate. Peel eggs and cut in half, remove tuna from can and break up with your hand arranging it on plate. Arrange all other ingredients on plate and drizzle with dressing.

Sprinkle with extra salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

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St. Jude Tuna Revitalizes a Lunch Staple by Seattle Met


There’s probably no lunch I eat more frequently than canned fish. Yet a while back, tuna fell out of my rotation. So many cans disappointed: I’d try to drain the already pulverized meat and instead get a cat food ooze that even ample mayo couldn’t save.

St. Jude Tuna, though, emerges from the can as a single steak, which, especially glossed with oil, actually verges on comely (never tinned fish’s allure). The family-owned, local fishing company has nabbed back-to-back Good Food Awards for its troll-caught albacore: Mediterranean (packed in Spanish olive oil) won last year, the jalapeño version this year. The cans, available at certain farmers markets and grocers like DeLaurenti and QFC, run $7 to $15 for 6.5 ounces. St. Jude’s fares fine as tuna salad, but the fish is both fattier and meatier than most canned albacore, so it’s better served flaked in a green salad or, especially with the gently spicy jalapeño flavor, over avocado toast—where it managed, for a few of my lunches, to displace sardines. tunatuna.com


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