Culinary SOS: How to make the way-better-than-what-you’re-imagining tuna salad from Scopa Italian Roots

Tuna salad from Scopa Italian Roots.
Tuna salad from Scopa Italian Roots.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

It’s a simple composition: crisp haricots verts, capers, celery, baby potatoes and Italian tuna tossed with a generous drizzle of fresh lemon juice. Yet uncomplicated as it may seem, Scopa Italian Roots’ Sicilian tuna salad makes for an elegant appetizer, first course or simple dinner. The dish comes together in minutes, perfect whether you’re planning for a busy weeknight or a leisurely weekend. Susan from Manhattan Beach never fails to order a double portion when she’s at the restaurant, causing her to “forgo many other tasty dishes on Scopa’s menu.”

Susan, the Venice restaurant was happy to share the recipe so you can enjoy the salad at home whenever the craving hits.



View the recipe in our California Cookbook »

35 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

40 pieces haricots verts

2 cups baby potatoes

4 (2.8-ounce) cans of Sicilian tuna, including oil, preferably Callipo

2 tablespoons chopped capers

¼ cup celery leaves

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons rough sliced fresh celery

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 lemons, juiced


1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath. Add the haricots verts to the hot water and boil just until crisp but tender, about 30 seconds. Strain and shock in the ice bath, then drain and set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, boil the potatoes until just tender, about 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, drain and cut each in half.

3. Place the prepared vegetables in a bowl. Add the tuna, capers, celery leaves, celery, parsley and lemon juice. Gently toss and season with salt to taste.

Each of 6 servings: Calories 119; Protein 9 grams; Carbohydrates 15 grams; Fiber 2 grams; Fat 3 grams; Saturated fat 1 gram; Cholesterol 17 mg; Sugar 2 grams; Sodium 235 mg

Note: Adapted from a recipe by chef Antonia Lofaso of Scopa Italian Roots.