Recipe: Tuna & Chickpea Salad | Atum com Grão

Paulo from Portugal told me Atum com Grão is the salad he served at his wedding. The wedding was in France, but they wanted to imbue the reception with a taste of his homeland. Being a very visual person, I immediately imagined his elegant, windswept bride in flowing white gown, chowing down on tuna and chickpeas tossed with onion, lemon juice, and parsley.

To be honest, I relish the thought of a bride with tuna and onion breath.

How brave. How confident!

How awesome these people honor their traditions above and beyond all else.

I love it.

So here’s to crossing a bridge to new beginnings with the security of tuna and chickpeas on your side.

If they can do it, so can we.

(P.S. We can also replace the tuna with cod, he says and the lemon juice with vinegar. Lots of yummy options from Portugal.)

Dom Luis I bridge, Porto, Portugal. Photo by Poco a poco.

Serves 4-6


2, 15 oz cans of chickpeas (rinsed & drained)
1 12 oz can tuna, drained (I used solid white albacore tuna in spring water)
1 cup minced red onion, (about a half a large onion)
handful parsley, chopped
1 lemon, juiced (or to taste)
olive oil, (4 Tbsp, or to taste)
salt & fresh cracked pepper


Find a glorious kitchen in a rose colored castle. Something overlooking a sea of villages and patches of green grasses.

Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal. Photo by Carol Spears.

The best thing about this salad is you just toss it together and serve. There’s nothing fancy pants about it. That’s why it’s so great to make in an overly elegant castle. Life is all about contrast.

That being said, you will want to get the best tuna you can find. I really enjoy solid white albacore in water because it comes with big chunks of tuna, which adds good toothsome texture to the salad.

Add as much lemon juice and olive oil as you’d like, and be sure to add a nice sprinkling of salt and fresh cracked pepper. A little wedge of lemon makes a pretty and tasty garnish.

How much healthier can comfort food get?

Enjoy with a breeze and a view. And a boat or two, to make a quick escape to bliss. Just in case.

Historical part of Porto, a World Heritage Site seen from Vila Nova de Gaia, trough the Douro river. Photo by Olegivvit.

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  1. Annabelle says:

    I am the bride you speak about! You are spot on! This recipe is a family favourite now and we have it a lot in the summer. I didn’t have so much a flowing white gown, but I sure chowed down on the salad!
    Thanks. You made my day!

  2. YUMMY! I can’t wait to try this! I was getting bored with just tuna fish for lunch…now we’re talkin’! Thanks GTA!

  3. I can’t wait to try this tonight, couldn’t be simpler…. I’ve got everything on hand except the lemon, and the chickpeas. (The only reason I don’t have chickpeas is that I used my last can for Humus Ib Tahini.) Chickpeas are a staple in our house, wonderfully versatile. Spreads, soups, salads,curries, pilaf. Thanks for the new chickpea recipe! I really enjoy GTA.

  4. I found a similar recipe a few years ago that I completely fell in love with as a quick pantry lunch. Mine uses pickled red onions, cannellini beans and cilantro, though. And since the onions are pickled, you don’t need the lemon.

    I’ll have to try it with chick peas next time I make it!

  5. Awesome simple recipe. I dropped the onion (as I do with most recipes I try from here.. I dislike onions in general) I added fresh Parmesan to mine and used cilantro instead of parsley.. Made it just that much better in my book!

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