The Spreadable Tuna Mousse
About 1 1/2 cups
Adapted from Mediterranean Summer (Broadway Books) by David Shalleck, forward by Mario Batali.David didn’t call for any garlic in the recipe since his upscale clients put the kabosh on it…perhaps so they wouldn’t have tuna and garlic breath at the same time with their fancy friends. But next time I make it, I might pound in a small clove, preferably roasted, and to heck with anyone else around me. I also livened it up with a pinch of smoked chili powder for good measure.My local supermarket only had miettes de thon in sunflower oil which is flaked dark tuna but I definitely recommend following his instructions and using good-quality tuna packed in olive oil for best results. This is a fabulous recipe to have in your repertoire and can be made from ingredients most of us already have on hand.
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
10 ounces (280g) olive oil-packed tuna, drained
1/8 teaspoon pimente d’Espelette, or a nice pinch of chili powder
5 tablespoons (70g) butter, salted or unsalted, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons heavy cream or crème fraîche
1. Mix together the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice.
2. In a food processor or mortal and pestle (which I used) process or pound the tuna until it’s broken down but not smooth. Mix in the liquid seasonings and process or pound until the mixture is smooth. Add the chili powder.
3. Add the butter bit by bit, adding each cube only after the previous one has been incorporated. If using a food processor be careful not to overdo it as the heat from the machine can cause the butter to melt.
4. Add the cream or crème fraîche just until it’s incorporated. Although he advises that this should be served near room temperature, I found it’s a bit more appealing served chilled. Either way, serve it along with small toasts or crackers, or a sliced up baguette. I could imagine it as an excellent spread in a sandwich along with some slices of tomato, chopped black olives, and a tangle of peppery arugula too.
The mousse can be refrigerated, well-wrapped, for up to three days.

Although he advises that this should be served near room temperature, I found it’s a bit more appealing served chilled. Either way, serve it along with small toasts or crackers, or a sliced up baguette. I could imagine it as an excellent spread in a sandwich along with some slices of tomato, chopped black olives, and a tangle of peppery arugula too.
The mousse can be refrigerated, well-wrapped, for up to three days.