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4.04.2013

Spring Tuna Salad

Oh hello, Spring.


Haha, just kidding.  There are no signs of Spring here.  I am still showering twice a day to stay warm and still cranking up the thermostat to 69 degrees on the days I work from home.

Really, Spring, take your time.  This is a welcome and fabulous drain on our resources, and my dry skin and still thanks you.

Fortunately, I know a great way to pave the way for this illusive season, and it doesn't involve your leftover and now-rock-hard Peep collection.  It involves salad!  As a hearty main dish!  I know, right?  Does such a thing exist?

In my house, it's very rare that I serve a meatless meal.  It's just the way it is.  My husband needs meat to survive and a meal without meat usually leads to his late-night snacking and my feeling like a bad and neglectful wife.  Clearly we have issues to work out.

So in order for a dinner salad to be substantial enough for us it has to include a hefty protein and a fiberful grain.  This salad combines lean and light tuna (and a lot of it!) with protein-packed quinoa in a light Dijon-lemon vinaigrette.  And as we gear up for fresh and vibrant Spring, it does my heart good to also make use of fresh spinach, verdant green beans, edamame, and crispy bell pepper.

This is perfect for a make-ahead or make-on-the-spot weeknight meal.  The longer the salad ingredients sit in the dressing, the tastier this will be, so don't be afraid to make this ahead of time and serve at room temperature.

Oh, Spring.  Will you ever just arrive on your March 21st due date?  I can only handle so much chapstick in one season.


Spring Tuna Salad
Inspired by Fresco by Scotto
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1 c grape tomatoes, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 c shelled edamame
1/2 c pitted kalamata olives, sliced
2 cans solid white albacore tuna in water, drained
3/4 c quinoa, cooked
2 cups baby spinach
1 c string beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbs Dijon mustard
Salt/pepper
1-2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:
Combine the tomatoes, red pepper, red onion, edamame, olives, tuna, and quinoa, and spinach in a large serving bowl.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, fill a sauce pan with water and bring to a boil.  Add the string beans to the boiling water, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Immediately drain the beans into a colandar and apply cold running water to stop the cooking process.  You want your beans to be crispy still, and bright green.  Drain well, and then add to the serving bowl.

In a small container or measuring cup, combine the lemon juice, salt/pepper, and olive oil, stirring well with a fork.  Add more olive oil to taste.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and toss well to combine.  Serve immediately, at room temperature or warm.



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