What do you get when you take the best yellowfin tuna, and Mediterranean-inspired ingredients, then wrap them all up in a spring roll borrowed from Asian cuisine? Summer appetizer perfection. These easy Mediterranean Tuna Spring Rolls come together in less than 15 minutes, and they're a proven crowd pleaser!
Do you know that feeling when you just "try something crazy" in the kitchen, combining ingredients you don't usually use together - and the result is so magical you wonder why you didn't discover this culinary alchemy sooner?
That's how I feel about this recipe! When I was invited to submit a recipe for the Tonnino Tuna Blogger Recipe Challenge, I knew I wanted to create something fresh and summery-feeling for the appetizer category.
It was also really important to me that I not smother the incredible flavor of the excellent yellowfin tuna that I was working with. I couldn't imagine losing that delicate flavor and perfect texture by tossing it with something like mayonnaise. (I felt so strongly about this, I couldn't resist making the meme below.😉)
I toyed with the idea of lettuce wraps, but I was really hoping to create something that could hold up to being a party-worthy appetizer. You know - finger food you can eat while wearing a garden party dress that you ever hope to wear again.
The last time I ate lettuce wraps I'm pretty sure I ended up tucking a napkin into my shirt. They're just inherently a bit messy.
In the end, I realized that Asian cuisine offered exactly the answer I was looking for - spring roll sheets. They're entirely neutral in flavor, and have an almost magical ability to hold ingredients together in a tidy finger roll.
Though the ingredients in these spring rolls are decidedly Mediterranean, borrowing the magic of those spring roll sheets from Asian cuisine turns these into a perfectly finger-friendly party food.
With just 7 ingredients, they're also very quick and easy to make. You can easily whip up a batch of these in less than 15 minutes!
While these Mediterranean Tuna Spring Rolls absolutely shine as an appetizer that appetizer that everyone will love, they also make a great healthy lunch for a smaller group. (To stick with the Mediterranean flavor palette, try pairing them with a wedge of ripe melon, or some fresh figs and a few almonds or pistachios.) This recipe serves 12 as an appetizer, or 4 as a meal.
Tonnino offers many wonderful varieties of sustainably-caught tuna, and almost any of them would work well in this Mediterranean Tuna Spring Rolls recipe. But my favorite for this particular recipe is their simple Tuna Fillets in Olive Oil. The excellence of the tuna really shines through!
I hope you and your guests enjoy this fresh and summery appetizer as much as my little gathering did, when I served these!
Mediterranean Tuna Spring Rolls
- 1 6.7oz jar Tonnino Tuna Fillets in Olive Oil
- 12 leaves romaine lettuce (about 6 ounces of lettuce)
- 12 spring roll sheets
- 1 small jar high-quality olive tapenade (you'll need about 5 ounces for this recipe)
- 2 ripe avocados
- 8 ounces plain goat cheese (chevre)
- 1 ounce capers
- Fill a wide, shallow bowl or pan with warm water for dipping the spring rolls. You'll want this right next to the area where you're working.
- Dip a spring roll in the warm water. Don't pay attention to packaging instructions that may tell you to "soak". Really truly just dip it quickly in the warm water, then spread it flat on your working surface.
- Place a piece of romaine on the damp spring roll. Center it vertically, but place it a little closer to the left side than the right. I find that to make perfect spring rolls, it works well if the romaine is just a little bigger than a pack of playing cards, and any hard stem or rib should be trimmed out. (See photo)
- On top of the romaine, add:a scant tablespoon of tapenade, two small slices of avocado, a tablespoon of goat cheese, 2 small fillets of tuna,and a teaspoon of capers.
- Lift the top and bottom of the spring roll, and bring together so they barely fold over each other.
- Starting with the left side, roll up the spring roll.
- Repeat with the other 11 spring rolls.
- Serve whole, or cut in half. These can be made up to two hours ahead of time, if stored tightly covered in the refrigerator.
Anna Chesley is a freelance writer living a homestead lifestyle, with a special love for family travel, old books, vintage skills, and seaside living. In addition to founding Salt In My Coffee, she runs the website, New England Family Life, as well as The 1800's Housewife, a website devoted to re-creating authentic 1800's recipes.