A delicious, cheap dip that’s ready in about 5 minutes and perfect for your next party.
Lemon-Caper-Caraway Tuna Dip
This dip is perfect for an appetizer or as a stand-alone hors d'oeuvres.
I like hosting dinner parties and entertaining, so I am always trying to think of new ways to make appetizers and finger foods. I like having one or two things at a party that are sort of fancy but, for the most part, I try to serve things that a) don’t take all day to put together, and b) won’t break the bank. Dip is a universal party classic, and if you serve one or two with a few other hors d’oeuvres, most people will be happy. I love a good, smoky whitefish dip, which I typically make with smoked trout but, in a pinch, you can make a less expensive version with flaked white tuna packed in water. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: canned tuna is so great to have on hand. Some people are a bit scared of it (which makes some sense – it’s meat in can, after all), but it’s super versatile and inexpensive and I am always finding new ways to use it and dress it up. This recipe is nice and bright, thanks to the lemon, herbs and capers, but also creamy and rich (which is how a dip should be) thanks to some mayo and dijon mustard.
Speaking of herbs, caraway is something I haven’t used much in the past, but I’ve really started to enjoy using it in various dishes lately. That being said, it hasn’t been an intentional evolution… a few months back, I wanted to make a dish that I thought would be best with the addition of some dill seed but, as luck would have it, my grocer didn’t have any in stock when I went to pick it up. So, I did some research online about possible substitutes (there aren’t really any great ones) and I ended up adding some caraway. I was totally pleased with the results and I’ve been playing around with it ever since, which is a nice little reminder that, when cooking, you can usually solve most little hiccups fairly easily. So, since I’m on a caraway kick these days, that’s what I threw in here to make sure the dip had some dimension, and I like how it turned out.
This dip would also be delicious sprinkled with cheese and heated through to be served hot (I think I’d use something sharp and bright, like gruyere or swiss), so if you decide to go that route, I recommend popping it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the tuna is heated through. Lastly, I think this recipe goes amazingly well with rosemary and olive oil Triscuits. The herbs and spice cut the richness of the dip perfectly. If you can’t get your hands on those, specifically, I recommend finding a cracker with herbs baked in, or mixing melted butter with dried rosemary and brushing it over some baguette slices, you won’t regret it.
1 can white flaked tuna packed in water, drained
1 tbsp non-pareil capers
2 kitchen spoon-fulls mayonnaise (which works out to about 2 tbsp)
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground caraway seeds (I just grind my own)
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp paprika
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp chopped chives or green onions, for garnish
Stir to combine all ingredients, and garnish with chives or green onion. Serve with crackers and try not to eat it all yourself!