When I was a little boy a tuna sandwich was the very first thing in the kitchen I was allowed to make all by myself. I was very proud that I didn’t need a helping hand or a recipe! I know that you don’t either, so think of this as a guided tour to jazzing up this kitchen classic with a few new flavours.
Yield: 2 sandwiches
1 6 ounce can water-packed tuna
a squeeze or two lemon juice
a generous splash olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced red or green onion
1 tablespoon minced celery
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
a sprinkle or two sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 slices whole wheat bread
a few lettuce leaves
a handful potato chips
Flake the tuna with a fork and then mix it with the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, onion, celery and parsley. Unlike bland mayonnaise, olive oil will add lots of rich peppery flavour. Have a taste and then season to your liking with salt and pepper.
Spread a thick layer of the tuna salad on 2 slices of bread. Top with a layer of lettuce and crisp potato chips. Slap on the remaining bread. Press down a bit to even out the chips, then have a huge bite. Remember to share the other one!
A great sandwich can be quickly and easily made with whatever’s in your kitchen. If you don’t have lemon, a splash of any vinegar will add a bit of sharp flavour contrast. Any type of mustard or onion works well too. I like to try fresh herbs other than parsley; tarragon and dill are two of my favourites. I sometimes add cucumber or even vegetable sprouts. Of course, any bread will work too; try toasting your choice for a bit more crunch. Whatever you do though, make sure you try the chips!
All canned tuna fish is good for you, but I prefer water-packed to oil-packed, and “light” because it has less mercury than albacore or “white” tuna. Both chunky or solid tuna are fine because you’ll be flaking it anyway.
Over the years I’ve tried experimenting with many additions to the classic burger, and I’ve discovered that most just don’t work. One thing that does work is shredded meat from a tender beef stew. It adds a rich layer of beefy flavour and texture that I love! Just the thing to serve with my all-time favourite spud, smashed potatoes!
Is your family in the sandwich business? A soft tortilla wrap is just as easy a sandwich start as a slice of bread and a great way to pack a lunchbox. If you want to make it even easier, let your grocer do the heavy lifting and just toss a rotisserie chicken into your cart!