We’re getting into the really hot days now, when any recipe that doesn’t involve switching on the stove, oven, or even toaster, is a recipe to be valued. And in these post-Christmas weeks, there is a certain urge towards salad, to balance out all the rich foods we have been eating recently…
This recipe is another one of those embarrassingly simple ones, but it’s so very useful I’m putting it here anyway. There’s a lot to be said for a recipe that requires no measurements, is portable, and gives you a reasonably filling and balanced lunch at the end of it. Now, if only I had a really good vegetarian version of this… (stay tuned, however – I have plans!)
Your shopping list (serves 2)1 lebanese cucumber 1 red capsicum 1 green capsicum 350g – 500 g (1 1/2 – 2 punnets) cherry tomatoes, any kind, or 3 nice tomatoes 1 x 185 g tin of tuna or salmon, in olive oil if possible 2 x 125 g tins four bean mix black pepper 1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Now what will you do with it?
Peel the cucumber and halve it lengthways. Slice, and put into a bowl or lunchbox. Chop your capsicums as you like them – I tend to chop them into 1cm slices and then make the slices about an inch long. Halve your cherry tomatoes if you are feeling enthusiastic, or chop your tomatoes.
Drain your beans and add to the salad. If your tuna is in oil, drain it only partially, and then crumble the tuna into the salad, letting some of the oil go in, too. Grind black pepper over the salad and then splash over some red wine vinegar. Toss and serve.
If you want to pack this for lunch, do everything up until the point where you’ve drained and added the beans. Divide between two lunchboxes that will give you room to add the tuna and toss it. Instead of getting a single 180g tin, get two 90g tins, and put one of these in each lunchbox, unopened. Put the vinegar in a little jar or container with the pepper, and add to the lunchbox. When you are ready for lunch, open the tin, mix the tuna and oil through the salad, and pour over your vinegar and pepper. All fresh and yummy.
This is low-GI, dairy-free, egg-free and gluten-free, but what it isn’t is vegetarian. I’m yet to come up with a vegetarian version that I really like, so at this point I’m not making any recommendations (but would love to hear yours – see my next post).
You can basically use any salad veggies or herbs you like. In winter, if I have a craving for salad, I leave out the tomatoes, which tend to be a bit dodgy at that time of year, and add celery, spring onion or red onion, and parsley instead.. Apple can be nice, too, especially to replace the capsicum. These ingredients are, of course, perfectly fine in addition to the ones above – they don’t have to replace them!
Also, do add salt, pepper, oil and vinegar to taste – I’m fond of a sharp vinegariness to my salads (the relic of a grandfather who used to make his own red wine… which sometimes led to vinegar, and was used copiously in salads), but I realise that this is not for everyone. Enjoy!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Recipe: Baked Ricotta Planning and Pizza