The Lenten Tuna

Monday, March 14, 2011

We're in the dead of Lent right now and for us that means Tuna Sandwiches. Various restrictions abound for the Great Fast, and by this time I'm already exhausted of ideas and frankly getting a little pissy about not being able to drink coffee or eat chocolate or what ever I gave up this time. This year, as per my friend Virginia's recommendation, I gave up gouda. And so far I've been sticking to it.

But back to the tuna...

The Tuna Salad is one of those classic American household staples that frankly we all should know how to do. There are different variations: with mayo and mustard or plain mayo; pickles inside or on the side; light or dark meat tuna. Either way you do it, it's a healthier alternative for a sandwich and can be tasty, economical, and fill your Friday lunchboxes for Lent or otherwise.

Here's my super basic recipe. I add a little cayenne pepper for some color and kick. Also, the amount of mayo you use will depend on how dry or wet you want your salad. Adjust accordingly. And my favorite bread to use is a good honey wheat bread -- the sweetness in the honey balances out the savory tuna perfectly.

Tuna Sandwich:
28 oz canned tuna in water (light or dark meat, chunk or not..up to you), drained well
2 celery stalks, ends trimmed and finely chopped
3 scallions, ends trimmed and finely sliced
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper or to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/2-3/4 cup good mayo (to taste)
honey wheat bread
sliced tomatoes, lettuce, pickle for garnish (optional)

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Serve as is or spoon tuna salad on sandwich bread (untoasted). Add tomatoes and lettuce if using, then top with another slice of bread. Slice in half and serve with pickle on the side.

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