Conserving tuna takes very little time and even less effort, but if you're in a real hurry, these recipes will work quite well with high-quality canned tuna, which can be found at import stores, on the Internet and even at some Southern California farmers markets. Traditionally, the best tuna has been canned in Spain, Portugal and Italy: Look for such brands as Albo, Genova, Ortiz and As do Mar. But there is a new group of artisanal tuna canners operating along the West Coast, under brands including Dave's Albacore, Wild Pacific Seafood, Tuna Guys, Wild Planet and Shamrock, which is sold at the Torrance (Wilson Park) and Studio City farmers markets. In general, look for brands that offer large pieces of tuna, often labeled as "fillet" rather than "chunk," packed in high-quality olive oil.

--Russ Parsons