Lunch: Crunchy Tuna & Vegetable Salad

Thursday, May 7, 2009

This is lunch. And I am typing as fast as I can because, as you may have guessed from the ragged edges on the hastily torn baguette, I am hungry and desperate to eat my prop.  

"Tuna salad" and "sandwich" do not do this plate justice.  Those monikers are far too tepid, too flat to prepare you for the crunch and zest that await if you go ahead with the following recipe.  I feel I can gush with abandon because the original recipe is not my own.  

Back in my salad days, in Washington, DC, I practically lived on Crunchy Tuna & Vegetable Salad.  When I was flush with cash, which seemed to be only twice a month (pay day and the day following), I would swing by the appropriately named Marvelous Market in Dupont Circle and treat myself to a small container of their uniquely delicious tuna salad and a long, skinny stick of sourdough ficelle.  The rest of the month, I brown-bagged it with the homemade version that was my attempt to recreate the original.  

Today, it is a staple of the family diet.  Eating it takes me back and makes me feel young, thin and virtuous, despite being none of the three.  It has the extra added bonus of getting a whole lot of vegetables into my children without argument.  When it comes to vegetables, they seem to operate on a size:acceptance ratio, and I find that I can pump them full of anything, including red bell peppers, which they would never countenance in their natural state, as long as the dice is small enough.  This alone makes all the time a the cutting board worth it.  

Come to think of it, maybe they don't argue because half the time I am standing there with a 10 inch chef's knife in my hand?  

Either way, as long as they eat the vegetables, I am happy!  Enjoy. 

1 Large can (400g) Tuna packed in oil, drained and crumbled
1 large carrot, diced 0.5 cm x 0.5 cm
2 celery sticks, diced 0.5 cm x 0.5 cm
1 red capsicum/bell pepper, 0.5 cm x 0.5 cm
1 red onion, diced 0.5 cm x 0.5 cm
1 cup parsley, finely chopped

3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
heavy dash Worcestershire sauce
small dash Tabasco sauce
juice of 1 lemon
sea salt, to taste

Note: you are aiming for a 50/50 tuna:vegetable ratio.  The dice should be as small as you can make it; otherwise, the vegetables overwhelm the tuna and, besides, it just isn't nice to bite into a big chunk of onion.  Adjust the dressing quantities to suit your taste - some like it drier, some mushier.  Personally, I like a lot of dressing, but I held back in case my cardiologist is reading this.


  1. If I can get my kids to eat veggies under the guise of a tuna sandwich, I'm all for it. And we are a "lots of dressing" family (except my husband, whom I married despite his distate for tuna/egg/chicken salad anything with mayo.) I could eat it from the jar.

    Will keep up with the blog, it reminds me of dispatches from Spain on the coffee press/espresso situation.

  2. Michele, just looked at my ruler and it should be 0.5 cm - NOT 1 cm - dice. Otherwise, the veggie detector is sure to go off. Sorry! Hope I caught you before you chopped!!

  3. Kate you have made me have a much needed laugh out loud!! I feel quite a lot of pressure after your amazing review of our Thanksgiving day meal! I was googling "flourless chocolate cake"(as you do on friday nights!)And somehow came across your blog which always cheers me up so thank you and please forward any recipes that you have for flourless chocolate cake!! Amanda x


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