An Herby, Flavorful Chickpea-Tuna Salad to Dream About

December 17, 2015

I felt especially proud of this lunch: it was healthful and varied, and even though it was created in the middle of morning chaos, I managed to put together some good flavors—chickpeas with tuna, parsley, Meyer lemon, a pinch of hot smoked paprika, and olive oil. I laid it all out on this baking sheet and carried it into our living room, where I take these photos in a window seat. The light cooperated. I was even somewhat on time.

I lifted the baking sheet with one hand so I could use my free hand to replace the window seat cushion to its place. That's when I heard the terrible sound of glass containers sliding across the metal baking sheet. Sliding, sliding, then onto the floor! The chickpeas scattered like boulders in a landslide. The avocado squashed under their pelting weight. The tuna slumped on the wood floor. The 5-second rule had no chance with this oily mess. My sweet husband came to the rescue, crawling under a settee to gather up the detritus. And our kids went to school with porchetta sandwiches instead. Mondays!

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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).

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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.


Yvette Y. September 13, 2017
1. Do you always keep home cooked chick peas on hand? and or do you ever used canned (if so, which brand?)
2. What kind of tuna? I would love my daughter to have more fish in her lunches.
Amanda H. September 14, 2017
Sometimes I do but I also use canned. I try for organic. For the tuna, I get it at the greenmarket and poach it in oil or I buy the best quality tuna in oil that I can find.
Ascender December 27, 2015
I've been making a similar salad for years. My daughter was horrified when she went to college and discovered that other people don't put garbanzo beans in their tuna salads -- and that they make them with mayo instead of olive oil and lemon juice!

A beautiful variation is canned salmon with red kidney beans. The red salmon and beans is festive with the green of avocado.
amysarah December 17, 2015
Porchetta sandwiches - impressive last minute substitute lunch! But I always wonder - are the glass containers photo props, or do the kids actually take them to school? If so, do they always make it home, and intact? Do the lids lock on? I have similar fridge containers with lids held on only by their own weight (picturing backpacks full of olive oil infused math worksheets...) So many questions! Have always wondered when I see these lovely lunch pix.
Amanda H. December 17, 2015
Yes, they have lids that lock on and I send them to school!
Jordan1324 December 17, 2015
I'm pretty sure that a day with porch extra sandwiches is not a complete disaster......
Jordan1324 December 17, 2015
That would be PORCHETTA
Amanda S. December 17, 2015
But did your glass containers survive??
Amanda H. December 17, 2015
They did -- they're sturdy!