Jenn@FrugalUpstate is hosting a frugal foods series. This week features canned tuna. Yeah, that doesn’t sound too exciting on the face of it. At least not for me, since my kids refused tuna casserole last year. It was the first time in recent memory where I think we had an absolute revolt on our hands. The beauty of it was that FishPapa had requested it! (Usually it’s me who chooses something that they hate. I was happy to share the wealth for once.) Anyway, the FishKids do like tuna, just not in casserole, I guess. Usually we have it in sandwiches. But, another yummy way is in the oh-so-francaise- Salade Nicoise.
There’s great debate out there about the proper ingredients in a “Salad from Nice.” Potatoes or Rice? Canned Tuna or Fresh? Greens or no greens? Eh, just put in what you like and call it good. I was thankful to see that Julia approved my use of greens. This is a great main dish salad, with plenty of protein for the guys, and perfect for hot days when you don’t want to cook. The cooked items can be prepared well in advance, though it is nice to have the eggs and rice a tad bit warm.
Here’s how I make it. For each person, arrange 2 handfuls mixed greens on a nice big dinner plate. Around the plate arrange the following:
* 1/4 cup tuna packed in oil, but drained well
* Rice Pilaf (Saute 2 cups uncooked rice in 4 T. butter. Add 1/2 chopped onion. Stir until rice turns opaque and onion turns transluscent. Add 4 cups chicken broth. Bring to a simmer. Cover. Turn heat to low and cook 20 minutes or until done. Fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper.)
* Grilled Vegetables: red bell pepper (cored and quartered), sweet red onion, sliced thick(skewer through the slices to hold them together), zucchini and summer squash (quartered, lengthwise). Toss vegetables in olive oil and salt and pepper. Grill over hot fire.
* Chopped tomatoes
* Garbanzo beans
* Hard boiled egg, quartered
* Vinaigrette Dressing: My French “mama” taught me it this way when I was an exchange student in France. 1 generous scoop Dijon mustard, a pinch salt, a few grinds of pepper. Stir in 1-2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar. Add an equal amount of oil (to what is already in the bowl), stirring constantly. Drizzle over salad.