Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Grown-Up Tuna Salad

Admittedly, it's November. That time of year when the weather is turning chilly, and everyone is craving food that's warm and comforting. Lasagna. Chili. Chowders. Meats slow roasted in the crock pot. Beef stews with potatoes and carrots. You get the idea. This salad is none of those things. But, if you are going to have all that comfort food for dinner, what are you going to have for lunch??

This is the perfect light lunch that will leave you plenty of room (and calories!) for those big, comforting dinners we all have this time of year. Garden-grown arugula, juicy cherry tomatoes, sweet yellow tomatoes, salty capers, savory parmesan cheese, and of course, generous flakes of tuna. All pulled together with the lightest lemon vinaigrette. It's pretty and healthy, and will leave you without a single shred of post-lunch guilt. 

So, let's take this ordinary can of tuna (you know, the kind you serve the kids drowned in mayo?)-

And turn it into a grown-up version of tuna salad!

Pretty food is the best, don't you think?

This salad was actually a dinner for me. Don't worry, I added bread and cheese to that mix. At any rate, the hubby was working late, they were feeding him at work, and I was on my own. I had decided earlier that day that dinner was going to be a clean-out-the-fridge type event. I had a large container of arugula from the store that I wanted to use up, mainly because I thought the garden arugula wasn't ready yet. Well, when I went to open the container, I discovered it had gone bad. Very, very bad. You know when greens turn that dark green color, get mushy, and stink to high heaven? That was my situation. Yuck. Into the compost it went.

I needed a backup plan. I decided to harvest enough arugula from the garden for the salad. Shockingly, there was plenty. Not only that, but it is some of the best arugula I've tasted. Arugula is one of those greens that can be too bitter. Not mine. The arugula from the garden is mild, with just the right amount of bite. I couldn't be more pleased.

The aforementioned bread and cheese. Sometimes I think I could live on bread and cheese. I think I'd do alright in France :-)

The dressing couldn't get easier. Or healthier. It's just olive oil and lemon juice. I found with all the fresh ingredients, plus a smattering of high-quality salt and fresh cracked pepper, that I just didn't need a heavy dressing. Kosher salt is definitely the way to go.

There you go folks! Lunch today, already planned out. 

It's promising to be a gorgeous day here in NE Kentucky, sunny with a high of almost 80. The dogs are loving this fall. My garden is loving this fall. I'm thinking of going for a walk-run and then making some Autumn Bark. Candy, in other words. I'm due to hit up the library, so that might get thrown in the mix today too. I also have some housework to do, but it's dang hard to motivate yourself to stay inside when it's so pretty outside and you know you are getting ready to experience 6 months + of cruddy weather. The housework might have to wait...

Have a lovely fall day folks!

Ingredients (makes 1 salad):

1 1/2 cups arugula
1 yellow tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 can of tuna, water packed, and thoroughly drained
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2-3 tbsp parmesan cheese, shaved
1/2 tsp capers
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
garnish- lemon wedges, kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper


1. Place a few leaves of arugula on plate. Top with a yellow tomato slice. Top with a few more arugula leaves, topped with another tomato. Repeat with all arugula and tomato slices.
2. Top salad with tuna, cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and capers.
3. In a small bowl, combine olive oil and lemon juice. Whisk to combine. Drizzle mixture over salad.
4. Garnish plate with lemon wedges. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

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