When I was in optometry school, my best friend Nancy and I shared a bedroom at the dean's house. (Yes, we were insane. We only did it for a year. It was a long year.) We weren't allowed to cook, but we had a small refrigerator outside the bedroom and a shelf where we could store cereal, bread and staples like canned tuna. We ate a lot of tuna that year, and managed to make it palatable by adding flavorful and crunchy ingredients. I still bring tuna salad to work occasionally for lunch, and this is one version that I really like. —drbabs
6 ounce can tuna packed in olive oil, flaked and broken up into small pieces
honeycrisp (or other crisp sweet apple) cut into small dice
Granny Smith (or other crisp tart apple), cut into small dice
sweet or hot pepper, chopped into tiny pieces
fennel heart, chopped into tiny pieces
small stalk celery heart, cut into tiny pieces
salt and pepper to taste
zest of one small lemon
lemon juice to taste
cup finely chopped baby arugula
olive oil as needed
toasted pine nuts
1 cup cooked wheat berries, farro or freekeh, optional; increases number of portions or portion sizes
In a large bowl, mix together tuna, apple, pepper, fennel and celery. Taste and add salt, pepper and lemon juice as needed. Toss with baby arugula. Stir in grains if using. Taste again and adjust seasoning. You might need more olive oil or lemon juice, or it might be fine.
Toss with toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.