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Pub Style Tuna Salad Sandwiches

November 5, 2012

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. This recipe is a direct result of necessity, and it turned out SO GOOD!

Pub Style Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Last weekend, I attended the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit Convention + Expo in Anaheim, California*. Farmers, growers, distributors, buyers, educational institutions, packagers, providers of equipment & machinery – every aspect of the produce industry you can think of comes together at this event to mix and mingle. One grower, shipper, and marketer I ended up speaking with was OSO Sweet Onions**.

PMA Fresh Summit 2012

Oso Sweet Onions

Now, I really love onions. To me, there’s no better aroma than onions frying in the pan for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I mean, it’s up there with the aroma of fresh baked Christmas goodies, and I think it wins, actually! My brother, however, loves to take it to the next level, and eats them completely raw, like an apple. I love onions, but I could never understand how he could eat a raw onion like that, until I meet the charming Jeff Sutton of Oso Sweet Onions.

It turns out that there are two types of onions. The Spanish yellow varietal onion, which you can find at your local grocery store for 49¢ to 69¢ a pound, and has a strong pungency and low sugar level from 3% – 5%. Then you have your sweet onions, which have a mild pungency and high sugar level that can climb up to 15%! These onions are best used in barbeque dishes, as salad toppings, and as sandwich fillers – pretty much anything for which you’d like to add a subtle sweetness.

Pub Style Tuna Salad Sandwiches

The OSO Sweet Onions are grown in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Chile, where they are able to take advantage of the rich volcanic soil, climate, and pure water. The volcanic soil is very low in sulfur, which is passed onto the onion. This low sulfur content is what reduces the pungency of the onion. Neat, huh!?

So after the education that Jeff bestowed upon me, he posed to me, a challenge. “Take this Oso Sweet Onion home with you, and let me know how you like it!” he says.

Oso Sweet Onion

I was racking my brain trying to come up with the perfect recipe for this sweet onion. This is where necessity being the mother of invention comes in. Last weekend was so busy that I didn’t have much time to get to the farmers market or grocery store, and had to work with the ingredients I had on hand. A hungry girl needed to eat! Thus, the invention of the Pub Style Tuna Salad Sandwiches! The sweetness of the onion paired beautifully with the smoky paprika, tangy mustard, and toasty tahini paste.

I wanted to highlight the onion, so I loaded up on it, adding a full cup to the salad! Even though it boasts a virtually tearless experience when slicing, I did experience a tear or two. Not to worry, the flavor of the onion was fantastic! It was very mild, sweet, and absolutely delicious. I could see why Jeff was so passionate about this onion. I could also see how my brother could eat one like an apple!

Pub Style Tuna Salad Sandwiches

I’m definitely on the sweet onion bandwagon. If you’re wondering where you can get them, they’re available at Costco in the United States, Canada, & Europe. If Costco isn’t near you, you can also order online through From The Farm. Applications I’m dreaming up for my future menus are french onion soup, caramelized onions to top just about anything including pulled pork or burgers, potato salad, and stuffed with a spiced meat mixture and braised in beer….

What would you do with a super sweet Oso Sweet Onion?

Pub Style Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Pub Style Tuna Salad Sandwiches
By Natalie Wiser-Orozco
Published: November 5th, 2012
The tangy mustard, smoked paprika, and toasty tahini reminds me of the essence of pub food, so here you have it – the Pub Style Tuna Salad Sandwich!


8 slices Whole Grain Bread
14 ounces Canned Tuna, drained (two 7 ounce cans)
1 Cup Diced Oso Sweet Onion
1 Cup Diced Celery
2 Eggs
1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Whole Grain Mustard
2 Tablespoons Tahini Paste
½ Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
1 Teaspoon Bourbon Smoked Paprika (regular smoked is fine if you can’t find bourbon smoked)
4 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/2 Cup Oso Sweet Onion, julienned
4 Leaves Red Leaf Lettuce


Place eggs into a small pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, shut off the heat, and let sit in the hot water for 12 minutes. While the eggs are cooking, place the drained tuna, 1 cup onion, celery, mayonnaise, whole grain mustard, tahini paste, salt, pepper, and paprika in a bowl, and mix with a fork until well combined. Cool the eggs down by running under cool water, then peel and dice. Mix them in with the tuna mixture until combined, and chill for at least one hour before serving.

To serve the sandwiches, top each slice with ½ Tablespoon Dijon mustard, divide the tuna mixture on top of 4 slices, top with the julienned Oso Sweet Onions, red leaf lettuce and the remaining bread. Slice on the diagonal, and serve with cherry tomatoes and orange wedges!

Prep time: 7 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 22 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Calories per serving: 458
Fat per serving: 19.1g
Saturated Fat per serving: 2g
Cholesterol per serving: 121.4mg
Sodium per serving: 1,146.3mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 21.1g
Fiber per serving: 4.1g
Sugars per serving: 5.1g
Protein per serving: 48.2g

Pub Style Tuna Salad Sandwiches

*I would like to give a thousand thanks to Patti Londre from Worth The Whisk and the Idaho Potato Commission for this wonderful opportunity to attend PMA‘s Fresh Summit 2012.

**All opinions expressed in this post are my own. I was not compensated for highlighting the Oso Sweet Onion in any way, with the exception of the gift of a single onion.


    • Natalie Wiser-Orozco
      November 5, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      Shoot Cathy… during the writing of this post, I was daydreaming about different onion applications…. Well, more daydreaming than normal anyhow… 😉 Thanks!

  1. Susie
    November 5, 2012 at 10:39 am

    This sounds fabulous! I will have to try it. Now I understand how my grandpa used to eat onions like apples, must have been the sweet variety.

  2. angel
    November 5, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I ate 4 of these bad boys!! A nice soft bread is a good compliment to Tuna Sammy’s.

  3. Brian
    November 7, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I’m not a big fan of onions or tuna. So a big thumbs down for me food wise. Picturewise. I’m glad to see some of the nice contrasts with the burgundy tablecloth, the brown cutting board and the light brown sandwich. Great job Natalie! Those food magazines will be knocking down your door someday 🙂


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