I’ve done the Sydney-Melbourne flight more often than I can count, but it’s safe to say it’s an average of 6-8 times a year. Not much by frequent flyer standards, but enough to know that the food in both airports sometimes leaves a lot to be desired, especially if your budget is fast-food sized (and therefore tiny).
Faced with the usual choices of upsized burger meals and dubious warmed noodles and pastas in bain-maries, I have often opted for a simple coffee and held out for a quick omelette once I get home.
Which is how I stumbled across this tuna salad – buying a coffee.
Promising nothing other than simple ingredients and with NO salad bar or limp lettuce in sight, I got a beautiful blend of texture and flavour all prepared at the last moment in the kitchen. It’s brilliant, tasty, incredibly filling and takes minutes to make, which of course makes it the perfect hot-day standby.
This really does work best if you make it at the last minute, meaning your bread pieces will still be warm, but your tomatoes and salad vegies will be straight out of the fridge and therefore chilled. It’s a wonderful mixture of sweet and salty, tangy and nutty, warm and cool. You’ll never think of tuna salad as boring, ever again.
Serves 2 as a main meal.
- 2 thick slices day-old bread (use a rustic style bread or sourdough if you can)
- 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- ½ punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ Lebanese cucumber, peeled into strips with a vegie peeler
- ½ red capsicum, de-seeded and finely sliced
- 2-3 spring onions, cut thinly on the diagonal
- 185g tin tuna, drained
- ¼ cup (60ml) sour cream
- 1 tbsp grated horseradish
- 1 tsp finely chopped dill
- sea salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 180°C. Tear the bread into rough chunks, place them in a small roasting tray and drizzle with the oil. Toast for 15 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
While the bread is toasting, place all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix together. Set aside.
Drizzle the toasted bread, still in the roasting tray, with the vinegar. Not all of the bread will get a coverage, creating a delicious combination of crunchy and soft, tangy and nutty all at once. Set aside.
Place the tomatoes, cucumber strips, capsicum strips and spring onions in a bowl and toss with your hands to combine. Combine the tuna and half the toasted bread with half the dressing and toss gently until everything is mixed together and coated.
Spoon the salad vegies and remaining bread pieces into serving bowls. Top with the tuna and bread mixture and pour the remaining dressing over the top. Eat it while it is chilled or barely at room temperature.
$6.40 for two people