Kill Two Birds and Eat Tuna Salad for Lunch

July  9, 2015

Every week we take a peek inside the lunches of the luckiest kids in Brooklyn. Read on, suppress your jealousy, and get a little brown bag inspiration.

This week: Amanda puts a spin on tuna salad by cleaning out her fridge. Two birds, one stone.

Amanda's Kids' Lunch

Shop the Story

I like classic tuna salad—on toasted white bread, scooped onto a diner salad platter, or in a melt (preferably broiled in a toaster oven). But I'm equally fond of fiddling with the classic recipe.

Tuna can be brash and dominating—it craves assertive companions. I had a tangle of garlic scapes in the fridge looking for a purpose; and while garlic scapes are certainly mellower than garlic cloves, they hold their ground against tuna. We also had a bunch of basil, parsley, and thyme on the verge of wilting so I tossed them into a food processor with the scapes, gave them all a good whirl, and then blended in capers, a pinch of ground chile, and enough oil to soak the greens and make a paste. It was as fragrant as a freshly mown field. I folded the tuna (I poached mine, but jarred or canned is totally fine as long as you're happy with the brand) and pesto together, splashed in some lemon juice, and I had a salad and sandwich makings for several lunches. For this lunch, I packed the tuna salad with roasted zucchini and summer squash, avocado wedges, and country rye bread. Frog Hollow apricots for dessert. 

What are your clean-out-the-fridge successes? Share your secrets in the comments.

Order now

A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

Order now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • ChefJune
  • Denise
  • Amanda Hesser
    Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser

Written by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.


ChefJune July 10, 2015
I sure hope Walker and Addie appreciated that lunch. That may be one of the best (out of a whole host of goodies) you've ever posted. I would be happy to find that in my lunch box! :)
Amanda H. July 10, 2015
Thanks ChefJune!
Denise July 9, 2015
I always make vegetable soup when I clean out the fridge. Tons of herbs plus zucchini, cooked corn, leftover peas, etc. I use all the stems from the herbs plus the skins and seeds from cucumbers and wilted lettuces, carrot ends and skin and celery brown parts to make veg stock first. Round up the leftover cannellini beans, plus parmesan cheese bits and make the best soup ever.
Amanda H. July 9, 2015
Love this plan -- thanks for sharing.