Spuma di Tonno

by Cate on December 21, 2007

My menu for Christmas Eve has gone through more incarnations than I care to admit. Still centered around the Feast of Seven Fishes, of course, but I’ve been incredibly indecisive about which fish recipes to use. So many recipes, so little time … you know how it goes. One thing that has remained solid is that Spuma di Tonno is a part of the menu, taking care of one of the seven fish dishes needed with its tuna ingredient. I’ve been making this one for at least the past two or three Christmas holidays, so it is slowly becoming part of our tradition, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The recipe is from Food Network’s Napa Valley resident chef Michael Chiarello, who is the host of Easy Entertaining.  He got the recipe from David Shalleck.  Although it features an odd mix of ingredients (soy sauce with heavy cream and balsamic vinegar anyone?), I assure you that the end result is worth forging ahead. Taking just minutes to whir together in your mini food processor, it’s the perfect little spread to serve alongside your favorite crackers. Better still, you can make it ahead of time and cross one thing off your list with ease. Bon Appetit! 

Spuma di Tonno (Tuna Mousse)
Recipe courtesy of Michael Chiarello
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 3/4 cup

1 can (7 ounces or 200 grams) imported olive oil-packed tuna, drained
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Sea salt, preferably gray salt, and freshly ground black pepper

Put the tuna in a food processor and pulse to break up the fish. With the machine running, add the butter, cream, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce and blend until smooth. Then stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the processor bowl. Add the lemon juice and pulse again. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper and blend again. Check the seasoning. Serve at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days. If refrigerated, return the spuma to room temperature before serving.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kalyn December 21, 2007 at 12:55 am

I think this sounds so good.


Tracy December 21, 2007 at 12:52 pm

I saw this on Michael Chiarello’s show I was curious about it. It didn’t sound great, but it looks very easy. Do you use imported olive oil-packed tuna, like it says? If so, where do you get it?


Cate December 21, 2007 at 3:31 pm

Kalyn – it is!

Tracy – yes, I used the imported one. I found it at my regular grocery store – I think the brand was Genova (gold and green label), and wasn’t much more than the regular. A friend made it this weekend and couldn’t find it, and just subbed a tuna with regular oil and it worked out fine.


Tracy December 21, 2007 at 10:45 pm

Thanks. That’s something I want to try … I just need to find the right occasion. We’re going to my husband’s parents house and they do a traditional Polish meal of Pierogis and kielbasa. It’s the one time of year I wish I had married an Italian! :-)


Laurie Constantino January 2, 2008 at 5:30 am

Wow, this sounds great – I’ve bookmarked it in my Xmas 2008 file!


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