Monday, September 27, 2010

Hot! Too Hot!

It's hot here in San Francisco today. Really, legitimately, hot. Wish-I-had-air-conditioning-at-home-and-at-work hot. Dark-Helmet-drinking-coffee hot.

Hot enough, really, that all I want to eat is cold food. It is in this sweaty spirit that I share with you one of my favorite no-cook recipes.

Kate's Provencal Tuna Salad

Serves 1
Prep Time: 10 minutes unless your knives are dull

1 3 oz. pouch of chunk light tuna PLUS 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil OR 1 can of really good tuna packed in olive oil, drained well and blotted with paper towels
zest of 1/4 lemon (about a teaspoon or two) (see notes)
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1/3-1/2 cup ripe tomato, chopped (see notes)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
6-8 oil cured black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped  (see notes)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Flake the tuna into a bowl, adding the olive oil if not oil-packed. Add everything else except the salt and pepper and mix with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste - you will mostly likely want at least 1/4 teaspoon of each to make the flavor really come out. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, either in the fridge or on the counter, to help the flavors blend.

Lemon zest - Do yourself a favor and buy a microplane grater. If you don't have one, use a paring knife to peel off the zest, then slice it into strips and chop it very finely.
Tomatoes- Any variety will do, but if they are not in season, use grape tomatoes
Olives - You can sub kalamatas in this if you are a pansy, but I strongly prefer the punch the oil-cured olives add to the mix

Serve any of the following ways:
Salad: Put in a bowl. Eat with a fork.
Sandwich: This is great on toasted multi-grain bread or stuffed in a warmed whole wheat pita pocket
Peasant-style: Add some boiled, chilled, coarsely chopped red or fingerling potatoes (you'll also need to add a bit more olive oil and salt)
Fancy: Lop the top off a fist-sized tomato, hollow it out and stuff it with this. Stick a parsley sprig in the top.

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