Everyday Cooking

Tuna Salad Gets Crazy, Goes Global

March  7, 2013

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, Thursday is all about tuna salad sandwiches with a few tweaks. I mixed oil-packed tuna with celery, dill, chopped peppadews, and smoked paprika, and I dressed it all with red wine vinaigrette, mayonnaise, and Dijon. I was feeling pretty happy about my little creation until my son walked by and asked, "What's that bad smell?" It must have been the smoked paprika that alarmed him -- we'll see after school, when I unpack his lunchbox.

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One thing I know he'll eat: the Tumbador chocolate with praline and chile.

Looking for even more inspiration? Click here to see some of the twins' past lunches.


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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.


Sarah H. May 2, 2013
What a sublime idea, and totally flexible. I diced and threw in the fennel I needed to use up and added chopped parsley to the dill, plus some lemon juice and handful of slivered almonds. This 'grown-up' version was served atop slivers of avocado on toast, and it has proved to be the most kicking tuna salad I've yet to taste. Thank you!
Amanda H. May 2, 2013
Like the avocado detail. Nice!
Ken W. April 3, 2013
Great sandwich! I added some slice hard-cooked egg (for the extra protein) and I had it for breakfast. Why not ?
Amanda H. May 2, 2013
Exactly -- why not!
Momimel March 16, 2013
It's the vinegar that usually turns off my son, although he loves a tuna sandwich. The vinegar aversion has turned him off permanently to salad - would love some suggestions there. By the way - just discovered your collection of school lunch suggestions. Hooray! Thank you for posting these!
Amanda H. March 16, 2013
Does he like citrus -- that could be a good way to add acidity without it being so harsh. Also make sure to amply salt the salad -- this softens the bit of acidity. Good luck!
paseo March 21, 2013
Also try verjus in pace of vinegar
Momimel March 21, 2013
Hmmm...what is verjus?
nieceboo March 10, 2013
What type of bread is that? Looks yum.
Amanda H. March 10, 2013
It's a multigrain bread made by Pain d'Avignon in NYC.
Shalini March 8, 2013
This sandwich makes me want to eat it for breakfast. A beautiful combination. And the comment from your son? Perfect.
jane.colton3 March 7, 2013
What's a peppadew?
Kenzi W. March 7, 2013
They're little sweet peppers (though you can find them spicy, too, if you're into heat).
creamtea March 7, 2013
It sounds good to me. I always tell my kids chocolate is good for you (lots of iron, m-hm, m-hm)
Marian B. March 7, 2013
Growing up, my godmother taught me from a very young age that chocolate is a vegetable because it (sort of) comes from a tree.
creamtea March 7, 2013
Works for me!