Often when I’m making lunch for Felix I set him up at the table with plate, cutlery, napkin and cup while I eat whatever scraps happen to be left over from the prep-usually while rinsing dishes. Which makes no sense for two reasons—one: I could be sitting with him and enjoying time together and two: sitting down to eat lunch is a neccessary breather in a busy day. I deserve cutlery too.
I decided to take my tuna salad recipe (a staple quickie lunch for most parents) and adapt it “grown-up” style. Elegant enough to serve with a glass of wine-imagine!
Yes, I promise you, we can start here and end up in easy-gourmet land. Squeeze the water out of the tuna and pop it into a medium bowl.
This is my “key ingredient.” I like to use a crisp, sweet apple, peel then chop about half into a small, rough dice. It gives the tuna salad a great crunch and I love the slight acidity with the mayonnaise.
Now that the hardest part is over (apple dicing) I add fresh basil (love its mellow sweetness), 1/2 teaspoon lemon, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise and then season with salt and pepper. I like to use real lemon, but when you have none around the plastic lemon will do fine.
Add everything to your bowl of tuna and combine with a fork. Then taste the mixture and see if you need more seasoning or lemon juice.
For the kids, add the tuna salad into some bread and done! For yourself, quickly slice up a tomato and lay it on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil and a few drops vinegar. Add some chopped basil and a sprinkle salt and pepper. (Seriously, this takes about 1 minute.)
And voila! A healthy and great tasting lunch. Sometimes I just serve the tomato salad on the side and Felix will have at least one slice. But the rest is mine. All mine.
Tuna Salad Recipe
1 can tuna (packed in water)
½ of a small apple, peeled
3-4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 tbsp of mayonnaise
½ teaspoon lemon
salt and pepper
1. Drain the tuna and put into a small bowl.
2. Roughly dice thapple and add to the bowl.
3. Now add the basil leaves , mayonnaise and lemon.
4. Mix well and taste. Season with salt and pepper.
Sue Riedl is a Toronto-based food writer with a passion for cheese who writes a column called The Spread for The Globe and Mail. She loves to push stinky cheese on her 3-year-old.
by Sue Riedl