Monday, October 13, 2008

Pesto Tuna Cakes

Halloween is right around the corner, which means we're throwing our annual party! Yippee for costumes and a full spread and friends!

I'm trying out a few new things this year, and had to get a jump on it early. First I made the pumpkin truffles- my first venture into ganache and real candy making. What a pain- but I'll post about that another day. Then I needed to try out a recipe that sounded great in my head, but I didn't know if it would actually taste good or not.

The idea is pesto tuna cakes. You know, like crab cakes but with tuna... and pesto. Really my motivation for this recipe is to get something filling, finger-food friendly, and green on the table. I was wary about the basil and garlic flavor with the fish.

Well my friends, turns out it is delicious! Although my original plan isn't very green as I had planned. I made two versions of the recipe, one with the pesto inside and one with the pesto just on the outside. The inside idea was the one I wanted- I though it would turn the cakes a nice green, but they stayed a normal tan and didn't have as much punch to the flavor. The ones with the pesto on the outside was really more in case the flavor was crummy so we could scrape it off! Turns out the way to go is a nice combo- put the flavor on the inside for a complete experience and the pesto on top for a lovely presentation.

Pesto Tuna Cakes

  • 2 Cans Tunafish, drained
  • 1/2+ C. Plain Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Egg
  • Dash Mustard Powder
  • Dash Paprika
  • 1 Batch Pesto, divided (see below for recipe)
  • Olive Oil

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the tuna, breadcrumbs, egg, mustard, paprika, and half of the pesto.
  2. Form this mixture into small patties; for appetizers they should be about 1-1.5 inches across, for entrees around 3-4 inches.
  3. In a large pan, heat around 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, place cakes in the hot oil to brown on one side. Flip to brown the other side.
  4. Remove from pan and spread a small amount of the remaining pesto on top of the cake. Serve warm.

Pesto Sauce
  • 1 C. Fresh Basil
  • 2-3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. (about) Walnuts (or pine nuts)
  • 1/4 C. Grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 C. (about) Olive Oil

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth, occasionally scraping the sides of the bowl.
  3. I prefer to start with a little oil and then add more as it needs to be moistened.


Cara said...

sounds delicious! I can't wait to hear about the pumpkin truffles. I bookmarked a recipe to try, a while back. Thanks for the reminder!

abigail said...

Dear Erika,
I read with interest your blog about slow cooking beef and I have a really simple recipe for your hubby some Wednesday. I made this up from a 1970's spice island recipe for onion dip. The original recipe called for onion dip mix and one time when I didn't have it I used parts of the recipe for onion dip from the spice island cookbook to compensate. My hubby really likes it.
I use a chuck roast of 3 to 4 pounds, one can or cream of onion soup, one large onion cut into chunks, 3 teaspoons of beef base, 1 tablespoon of Worchestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon tabasco. Thats all. Cook until the meat is tender. I usually cook it for about 8 hours.
You can play with the gravy, adding sour cream or flour to thicken it. The leftovers are great in burritos or enchiladas.

Hank said...

Any new recipes coming?
I've been eating Pesto Tuna cakes for months.

vincent said...


We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM!!! YUM!!!.
We would like to add it to the

We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
enjoy your recipes.

Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
and benefit from their exposure on

To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use or just go to and click on "Add your site"

Best regards,


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Show you said...

I fabricated this up from a 1970's aroma island compound for onion dip. The aboriginal compound alleged for onion dip mix
How can we get the best Gold WOW,through the internet or the players in the game? Can we Buy Gold WOW with cheap price or other ways else?