Tuna Salad, that staple of the deli counter, is something that most people like – cold comfort food. By playing around with the basics I may be alienating the classic tuna salad aficionados, but I hope not. Give it a try just once. The additions are dried cranberries or craisins as they are sometimes called, celery salt and lemon juice.
1 x 6.7 oz. jar or can of tuna – flaked
3 large scallions/spring onions or 1 bunch – finely chopped
2 sticks of celery – finely chopped
Handful of dried cranberries
A good pinch of celery salt
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well together.
This little invention of mine, ‘pizzette’, is a cross between the Italian pizza and the Spanish omelette. Basically it is an omelette topped with things you might (or might not) find on a pizza and you can vary the toppings endlessly – today I used harissa paste, spinach and sliced new potatoes. You can serve it hot or cold; you can serve it as a meal, or you can cut it up into slices/pieces and serve as tapas/hors d’oeuvres.
1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
a spoonful or two of harissa paste (depending on how hot you like things) plus a bit extra to put on each slice of potato
5 oz. spinach – rinsed then wilted in a small skillet/frying pan
4 – 6 new potatoes – boiled and sliced
When omelette is cooked (tricky part is turning it over) place it on a plate and smear all over with harissa paste.
Place spinach on top and then slices of potato on top of spinach.
Pop a small blob of harissa paste on each slice of potato.
Ground chicken, prunes and apricots make an interesting mix and the sweetness goes well with the sweet potato and the addition of a dollop of mango chutney on top. You could do this with an ordinary potato too, but a sweet potato really goes well with the gentle sweetness of the dried fruits. The sweet potatoes will need to go in the oven 40 minutes or so before you start preparing the chicken mixture.
1 tbsp. canola oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion – finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic – grated
1 pound of ground/minced chicken
6 dried prunes – chopped
8 dried apricots – chopped
1 cup of chicken broth/stock (add more if necessary later on in cooking)
4 sweet potatoes – washed
Heat oil in skillet/frying pan and when sizzling add onion and cook until just browning.
Add garlic and cook for a few minutes.
Add ground chicken and let it brown, then add the prunes, apricots and broth.
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
Place sweet potatoes in oven at 350 degrees F/170 degrees C and cook for an hour.
Chicken Hash (serves 2)
Finding myself with leftovers from a roast chicken, I pulled all the meat from the carcass and chopped it up into small pieces and as there was only enough for 2 hearty portions I used 1/4 of an onion (finely chopped), a clove of garlic (grated) and 1/2 a large baking potato (cut into small dice).
Poured one tbsp. extra virgin olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper into skillet/frying pan and when sizzling added onion and garlic. When onion was starting to brown I added the potatoes and cooked for a few minutes until they started to go brown. Then I added the chicken and some red pepper flakes to spice things up and cooked for a further 15 minutes.
Jo’s Tuna Salad (serves 4)
This is not your average tuna salad. The tuna is fresh and grilled quickly on each side with a rare center and combined with avocado, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and hearts of palm – all tossed in lemon juice and olive oil. I can barely wait until lunch time!
1 x 6 oz. piece of tuna – grilled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 avocado – diced
2 medium size tomatoes – cut into small pieces
6 oz. artichoke hearts – cut into small pieces
6 oz. hearts of palm – cut into small pieces
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a serving dish and toss in lemon juice and olive oil.
Avocado Slices with Tomato Vinaigrette (serves 4)
I love avocados and they are good for you and I often put them in salads or make guacamole and then this occurred to me. Great light lunch or appetizer/starter. Secret ingredient – Worcestershire sauce.
Take a large, ripe tomato, cut a line with a knife and plunge tomato into boiling water for 30 seconds or so. Where you have cut a line the skin will begin to peel back so you will know it is ready to take the skin off.
Once skin is off, de-seed tomato and cut into chunks.
Place in food processor and add vinaigrette ingredients one at a time (add olive oil quite slowly) – 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar, 1 large teasp. Dijon mustard, 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, several drops of Worcestershire sauce (taste and more Worcestershire sauce if needed)
Drizzle tomato vinaigrette over avocado slices
Melon, Proscuitto and Griddled Peaches (serves 4)
Had been wanting to cook peaches and have them come out with stripes that a griddle pan gives. Thought my griddle pan was in storage but I found it lurking behind my collection of oil and vinegars – so I am in business! Melon and prosciutto are always a good combination. If you can get one of those small Charentais melons that are all over France that is the best melon, otherwise Cantaloupe melon is fine. Peaches go well with melon and a bed of arugula/rocket completes the picture! Toss with vinaigrette – tempted to add a few drops of yuzu juice to complement the fruit.
1 Charentais melon or 1/2 Cantaloupe melon – cubed
2 peaches – cut into 1/8ths
4 – 6 slices of prosciutto – torn into little pieces
Arugula/rocket – as much/little as you like
Place melon, prosciutto and arugula/rocket in a bowl.
Heat griddle pan, place peach slices on pan and cook till brown stripes appear, then turn over and cook until more stripes appear.
Add peaches to salad bowl and toss with vinaigrette