Friday, June 22, 2012
A short time ago we bought some sandwiches for lunch, and I got one with tuna salad. When my husband saw it, he asked, "why did you order tuna salad?" I explained to him that a good tuna salad sandwich can be quite tasty, if made properly and if fresh. It happened that this particular deli made the salad on the spot and together with freshly baked bread and crisp iceberg lettuce made a refreshing combination on a hot day. He proceeded to explain that when he was small, his father would make him a tuna salad sandwich for lunch with nothing but mayonnaise and salt and pepper, and at the time he thought it was just too bland (I apologize in advance to any family members reading this that might be displeased with this statement, even though it isn't mine. As I learned in my line of work, every story has plural versions).
I, on the other hand, shared memories of sloppy, fishy school lunches served on stale kaiser rolls. And how too often delis have a tub of tuna salad behind the glass display with a somewhat winded look (at times you can see where they scooped out the stuff to serve some unfortunate soul and there is a difference between the bottom, which still looks fairly moist, and the top, which has crusted over and turned brown). Too often the salad sits next to its old friend, the egg salad, in an unfortunately similar condition. So instead, here is a recipe for tuna salad that is certain to please.
The mayonnaise is replaced with sour cream for lower fat content. Scallions add a requisite bit of kick without the misfortune of a reminder to yourself and others that you had an old curmudgeon of an onion for lunch. Bell pepper adds a needed crunch to an otherwise soft texture, and a more flavorful alternative to celery. Finally, the salad is complemented by a small amount of freshly squeezed lemon juice. You can serve it as an appetizer on quartered bread slices, or use the same ingredients and amounts to make two tuna salad sandwiches.
Tuna Salad Bites
(Makes about 16 appetizers or 2 sandwiches)
You will need
4 bread slices, toasted
10 oz (290 g) canned tuna, drained
1/2 medium bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped scallion
1 tbsp chopped parsley
3 tbsp sour cream
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
green sprouts, for garnish (optional)
In a mixing bowl, combine tuna, bell pepper, scallion, parsley, sour cream and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. For appetizers, remove the crust from the bread slices, and cut them into quarters; right before serving place a small amount of the tuna salad on each piece and top with a few sprouts. Or use the salad and green sprouts as toppings for two sandwiches.