Tuna Conserva with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Capers and Bread Recipe

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9 votes | 13819 views

Not to be confused with thick Sicilian caponeta made with eggplant, Neopolitan caponeta originated with local sailors who tossed tomatoes with a dash of seawater with the ship's store of hardtack. We have added cucumbers and capers to this simple tomato and bread salad, using baked leftover pizza dough torn into bite sized chunks, and accented the flavors with tuna. Toasted crusty bread also makes a fine salad, but it's worth keeping this recipe in mind when you have extra dough after a pizza-making frenzy.

From "A16 Food and Wine" by Nate Appleman and Shelley Lindgren. Ten Speed Press.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 6


Cost per serving $1.12 view details
  • 1/2 pound country bread or baked pizza dough
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Persian cucumbers or 1 English (hothouse) cucumber
  • 1 pound tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon salt-packed capers, soaked and chopped
  • 5 basil leaves, coarsely torn
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup tuna conserva or high quality olive oil-packed tuna, drained


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. Tear the bread into large bit-sized pieces. In a large bowl, toss the bread with about 1/2 cup of the olive oil, coating the bread evenly. Spread the pieces in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, or just enough for the bread to turn slightly golden but not as crunchy as croutons. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  3. Slice off a piece of cucumber and taste it. If the skin is bitter, peel the cucumbers. Otherwise, keep the peel. Halve the cucumbers lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut into chunks about the same size as the tomatoes.
  4. Place the tomatoes and cucumbers in a large bowl, add the capers and basil, and season with a pinch of salt. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and the vinegar over the mixture and toss thoroughly. Add the tuna and bread and toss again just until incorporated.
  5. Arrange the salad on a platter and serve immediately.


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 136g
Recipe makes 6 servings
Calories 359  
Calories from Fat 260 72%
Total Fat 29.41g 37%
Saturated Fat 4.35g 17%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 19mg 6%
Sodium 190mg 8%
Potassium 209mg 6%
Total Carbs 20.78g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1.7g 6%
Sugars 2.48g 2%
Protein 4.21g 7%
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  • Nate Appleman
    Simply wonderful summer salad; easy to make. The texture of the cucumbers and bread are just fantastic.
    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
    • Mihir Shah
      Highly recommend; I made this for myself as a full dinner (it's so hot right now in SF). Loved it and will make again for guests.
      I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
      • Dean Grason
        Excellent. I would make for my next guests.
        I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
        • Michele Grason
          Great for summer! Delicious and easy to make - no oven needed!
          I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
          • Daniel Brock
            This sounds amazing and easy. I will deffinatly be trying this soon
            • O.S.
              Easy and very tasty!
              I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
              • A.L. Wiebe
                This looks wonderful. I will make it soon. Thank you for posting!
                • Amos Miller
                  Chef Appleman - While the best things in life may not always be free, they can be deceptively simple. This recipe is a perfect example of the Appleman touch. Brilliantly simple, texturally satisfying, pleasing to the eye and nose - and totally delicious. Follow this recipe out the window, folks - it needs no modification. This is regular summer fare for us. I appreciate the contribution.
                  I've cooked/tasted this recipe!


                  • ShaleeDP
                    May 18, 2015
                    This looks good.
                    • Mihir Shah
                      August 27, 2008
                      A16 Food and Wine is a fantastic cookbook that features the wine and food of southern Italy. Beautiful recipes and pictures easy to follow text. Highly recommend for any home cook.


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