Jamie Oliver's Tuna Salad Recipe Uses An Unexpected Vegetable

Tuna salad has been around for a while, so it makes sense that it has countless variations. Fresh tuna. Canned tuna. Celery or pickles. Carrots. Jalapenos. Hard-boiled eggs. Mayo or yogurt. Some people even swear by adding sugar to their tuna!

Beyond just individual recipes, tuna salad also has regional differences. Ahi tuna salad brings to mind the rolling waves and swaying palms of Hawaii. A spicy tuna salad served on tostadas can be a flavorful tribute to Mexico. Tuna salad with hard-boiled eggs and bread and butter pickles whisks you right to the deep American south — there's a reason The Spruce Eats claims "southerners know how to make the best-tasting tuna salad."

Of course, everyone has their preference when it comes to this creamy, fishy dish. But professional chefs, like Jamie Oliver, are able to take tuna salad to a whole new level with their nuanced understanding of how flavors and textures meld together.

The ultimate addition to any tuna salad recipe

When Jamie Oliver makes tuna salad, he's not just throwing canned tuna and mayo in a bowl with some spices. According to Celebrity Detective, Oliver passes on the canned tuna entirely, instead using tuna steaks. Another twist Oliver adds is a yogurt and basil sauce.

However, the most unique aspect of Oliver's tuna salad is the addition of asparagus. According to the recipe on his website, the asparagus spears should be seared "until they have lovely charred marks." The tuna steaks should also be seared. If you don't have asparagus, Oliver suggests using "a good handful of green beans instead."

Not only does asparagus offer a healthy serving of fiber and other nutrients, it also provides another contrasting texture to the dish. Think about how you might add potato chips to a peanut butter sandwich or pretzels to ice cream. That contrast in texture is exciting and makes us feel more favorably toward a dish (via Delish). So, the next time you whip up some tuna salad, take a cue from Oliver and try something unexpected.