Back in college (many moons ago!), I worked part time as a waitress at a local cafe, Yogi’s. The owners were a wonderful, caring couple, full of energy and life. In particular, Teresa, the wife, was wildly creative and very artistic. She hand-painted the menus that adorned the walls as if they were murals and spared no detail in making every inch of space in the cafe feel intentional and inviting. I didn’t realize it then, but I learned so much from them; to pay close attention to detail and create an inviting experience that would keep people coming back for comfort and nourishment.
During these challenging times we are living through amidst the pandemic of CoVid-19 (coronavirus), there is a lot of uncertainty and fear of the unknown. Taking comfort in a family meal and appreciating the simple, unfussy things in life are of utmost importance and top-of-mind for everyone. Bringing back nostalgic foods and recipes not only nourish the body, but also nourish the soul, bringing comfort that better days are ahead.
This simple salad, perfect for lunch or even dinner, was inspired by one of the most popular items on the Yogi’s menu. The cook would make it with chicken breast, but in lieu of chicken, I decided to use what I had on hand, which was a couple of cans of wild-caught, sustainable tuna. Whichever protein you prefer to use, this delicious twist on a classic salad is economical, fresh and satisfying.
For those of us (I’m sure it’s many of us!) who are looking forward to brighter days when we can gather with family and friends again, this salad makes a lovely brunch item to include on a buffet, and can be made a day ahead. If you are hosting a small gathering for Easter brunch this spring, serve this in endive boats or in radicchio leaves to keep it festive, pretty and low carb, too!
- Two cans wild caught canned tuna in spring water, such as Blue Harbor, drained
- 1 small, sweet apple, such as Envy
- Fresh lemon juice, about 1/2 of a lemon
- Fresh dill, at least one tablespoon (or more to taste)
- Mayo, heaping 1/8 cup plus slightly more to taste
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Step 1 Drain the water from the tuna and scoop into a mixing bowl
- Step 2 Wash and core the apple and chop into bite-sized chunks (you can leave the skin on)
- Step 3 Finely chop the dill
- Step 4 With a fork, begin to flake the chunks of tuna to break them apart slightly.
- Step 5 Add everything else to the mixing bowl and with your fork, gently incorporate everything together so it’s well mixed.
- Step 6 Taste the salad for acidity, salt, pepper or dill, and add as needed.
- Step 7 Serve over a bed of lettuce or with crackers, toast or other bread. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.