Belinda Jeffery

My very favourite lemony tuna, rice, and celery salad

This salad is a summer staple for us as it’s so refreshing…crunchy with red(or green) pepper and celery, and fragrant with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and plenty of herbs from the garden. It keeps well for a few days, and I love that I can just scoop some into bowls and lunch is ready!


Serves 4


2 cups (about 440 g) cooked brown rice (approx 1 cup uncooked)

2 large stalks celery, very thinly sliced

1/2 large red or green pepper (capsicum), cut into small dice

4 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal (or use a handful of chives)

1 or 2 small red chillies, finely chopped, optional

1 x 185 g can tuna in oil, drained and flaked

1 x 95 g can tuna in oil, drained and flaked

A very large handful of finely chopped herbs (I use whatever is in the garden – a mix of chives, parsley and dill is lovely)

1 dozen or so Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

3 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped

A little thinly sliced spring onion (or red onion), and herb leaves, extra, to garnish

Lemon wedges, to serve



1/2 cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

¼ cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste

Splash of white wine vinegar, to taste

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Put all the dressing ingredients in a jar, seal it tightly, then shake it like crazy to thoroughly mix everything together. Dip a spoon in and taste the dressing, then adjust the flavours to suit you. I like it to be quite lemony, so I often add a bit more lemon juice to it. When it’s right for you, pop the jar in the fridge while you make the salad.


Put the rice, celery, capsicum, spring onion, chilli, tuna and herbs in a large bowl and mix them all together. Pour in dressing and stir it through so that everything is well coated. You can serve the salad straight away, but I think it tastes even better if it’s covered and chilled for a couple of hours to allow the flavours to develop.


Just before serving, gently mix in most of the chopped black olives and about three-quarters of the chopped egg. Mound it into a large, shallow serving bowl and top it with the remaining egg and olives. Sprinkle on a little extra spring (or red) onion, and herb sprigs, then serve with lemon wedges.