If you’re not trying to get healthy this month, you might still want to read this week’s post featuring main dish salads. Even if all you managed to accomplish was to clear out your entire cellar’s store of Pinot Noir but skipped every red, green, and silver Hershey’s kiss you encountered (and so didn’t gain an ounce in December), you could drum up interest in hefty, heart-warming and filling whole meal salads–if nothing else but to figure out what to do with leftover steak (leftover steak?!), those couple of lonely pork chops, an oh-so-sad single portion of salmon, one languishing chicken breast with wing attached, or perhaps only a drawer full of vegetables and cheese with little else to recommend them but a poached egg or two and maybe a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.
I never pass the fish and seafood in the store without seeing if something’s on the fire sale. $9 OFF a pound is a fire sale for fresh tuna. It means they have to get rid of it that day, preferably immediately. I’m willing to eat that tuna. I’m happy to run home and cook it straight away. This is a typically summer meal, but you can squeeze it in for Friday Fish this month if your’e dreaming.
We’re in the last week of Lent; Palm/Passion Sunday was last Sunday and that means Easter’s on its way. I’m always amazing how Lent takes us from the dredges of winter to the cusp of spring, and sometimes mixes it all up in one day. Just about how my life sometimes goes, I think, and maybe yours, too. Here’s Holy Monday and Tuesday’s single post from my Lenten blog, Praying in Saint Paul and here’s Holy Wednesday’s. You can check out the rest of the week’s posts by going to the upper left-hand corner of the black bar at the top and clicking on Sidebar or if CLASSIC is up, click on that and then click on Sidebar in the menu.
Anyway, here’s what I did with that sale tuna–and what you might do, too, on Good Friday if that’s part of your faith tradition. Otherwise, save it for that first warm day. What I did was all dependent on what I had in the fridge and on the counter after a visit to the market …
grilled tuna salad with vegetables &
spicy lemon-basil vinaigrette
The vegetables for this salad are grilled (inside or out), but could also be oven-roasted for 20-30 minutes or so at 400 degrees F. No matter how you cook it, you’re eating quickly and happily.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
- 2 small zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds or lengthwise into1/4″ thick slices
- 2 3/4-inch slices of a very large yellow onion
- 2 6-8 ounce thick tuna steaks
- 1/2 cup each cherry tomatoes and boccocini (small mozzarella balls)–about 12 each
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup Nicoise or kalamata olives
- Juice of half-lemon
- Spicy Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette (recipe below)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- generous pinch crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons shallot or red onion, sliced
- 3 tablespoons basil julienne, divided
- 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, spices, mustard, shallot, and two tablespoons basil. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking all the while, until vinaigrette is well mixed and emulsified. Taste and adjust seasonings. (Rest of basil is for garnish)
Upcoming Cooking Classes 3rd+4th Thursdays of April, May, and June, 2015, 5-8pm at Shouse Appliance, Colorado Springs, Colorado. $55 adults; $30 kids. $5 discount for cash/checks. Includes French Night, Make a Great Pizza+ Salad at Home, Kids make dinner/dessert, Spring Brunch (Master quiche/homemade sausage!) Can’t wait to cook with you. Click here for list and sign-up info:
During the past two weeks of Lent (if you’re interested, read my Lenten blog here), we’ve gone from cold/snow to 75F/sunny, then back to 40F with nasty freezing rain. While we have about one gray day a year, it’s here as I write today. My good friend Roberta is visiting from the Twin Cities and I know she came for spring sunshine walks with our puppies. Instead she’s practicing her Bach on my piano in the living room and the dogs are in jail with wet feet from their fast foray out into the wetlands.
My husband is nuts for fish tacos and, in an effort to provide a more fun Friday night meal, I made them a couple of weeks ago. (I usually take Friday afternoons to create something gorgeous and time-consuming that requires a knife and fork to eat.) Fun to him means protein between big pieces of some sort of grainy holders or, alternately, anything that gets dipped or is spicy or is slathered in bacon and barbecue sauce. These tacos were so good that I then made them at work and brought leftovers home. While leftovers from work aren’t typical, they are when the weather is as it’s been for the last week.
(below: look closely–Tucker’s watching a doe in our yard)
Days of snow and cold drove us indoors where we were sustained by those leftovers followed by vats of barley soup I’d frozen ahead and no small amount of nightly red wine. When the tortillas were gone, I made a salad we maybe liked better than the tacos. Maybe. If you’re eating fish on Fridays for Lent or if you’re just looking for a tasty healthy dinner, try this salad. Even if it’s as cold at your house as it’s been at mine. You’ll have room for dessert if you do! Continue reading