Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tuna Salad From Heaven

This recipe post was requested by Evgenia, Pat's housemate. I caught her off guard one morning, before 7am, after having made two mayonnaise-based salads the night before. She was sitting at the end of the teak table in the kitchen, sleepy-eyed in her nightgown and beautiful as always, opening up her laptop. "Hey, Evgenia! Try this!" The spoon zooms her way.... "What is it?" "Tuna salad." I get a crinkly face, but an open mouth, so she tries it. Her trust in me, however misplaced, resulted in her request for this post.

(The other salad, unfortunately, was my favorite potato salad. I somehow in my exuberance forgot she HATES potato salad and raw onions.... I'm still not sure if the awesomeness of the tuna salad forgave my indiscretion of feeding her kryptonite at that hour of the morning.)

I don't really think about how amazing this recipe is until somebody new tastes it. But it's an old standby that will wow and amaze at a potluck, or be a tasty lunch for two with the smaller recipe. Enjoy!

Tuna Salad From Heaven
(modified for two from Pasta & Company's book, Pasta & Co. By Request by Marcella Rosene, one of my very few cookbooks)
  • 1/2 cup Jasmine or Basmati rice, cooked and cooled to room temperature (this is important!)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated lime zest
  • 4 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 can tuna, drained (we use St. Jude's - line-caught and locally canned)
  • 2 Tbl buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup Best Food's mayonnaise (if you like Miracle Whip, I feel pity for you - but you could use it and delete the sugar and lime juice, and add these to taste if you like)
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 clove garlic, pressed through a garlic press or grated on a microplane
  • 2 Tbl fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas straight from the freezer
  1. Cook and cool the rice to room temperature before beginning
  2. Mix the lime and lime zest into a medium bowl. Flake the tuna into the lime and toss thoroughly.
  3. Add the rice, stir, and let sit while you mix the dressing and chop the parsley.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, mayonnaise, Tabasco, sugar and garlic. Pour over the tuna and rice.
  5. Sprinkle the parsley and scallion over the salad and stir just to combine.
  6. Add the peas about 15 minutes before serving - DO NOT cook them. They will thaw out in the salad, and also keep the salad chilled as it sits out. Any leftovers will have yellowed peas, so only add peas to what you'll eat in the next couple hours.

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