It's that time of year when I start to really itch for the flavours and tastes of summer. We've just lived through a string of months where the mediocre-tasting fresh produce is as good as it gets. Trying to get the family excited about eating salads that are pretty bland and generic-tasting always takes a lot of work (or more often, plain brute force and a few threats). Coming up with tasty versions of everyday salads makes that job easier.
I’m starting to daydream about fresh, sweet tasting tomatoes, at-my-fingertips garden herbs, and bursting-with-flavour garden vegetables. The chives in the garden have started to poke through the ground, and I am already using them in recipes a little too enthusiastically. At this time of year, you start to get some great tasting greenhouse produce at the grocery store, hinting at the sweet and delicious flavours to come. Personally, I am a big fan of cherry tomatoes out of season. I mix them with fresh lettuce and peas and use them as a base for a salad. Then amp up the flavor with some staples like olives, tuna and chickpeas. I always keep a handful of these items on hand in my pantry – they are a really easy and quick way to get some protein into any salad. The combination makes for a hearty dish that’s filling enough to have for dinner and also keeps well in the fridge for a great lunch the next day. If you’re not a big fan of tuna, you can substitute with some canned or leftover cooked chicken breast.
This dish is a perfect weeknight solution when you’re in a pinch and need to get something on the table in a hurry for dinner. With a few basic pantry items, you can make up a big batch of this stuff almost any night of the week.
Ingredients for salad:
1 large 8 oz. can/ jar good quality tuna (I like to splurge on Italian tuna, which is packed with flavour and usually packed in good-for-you olive oil)
1/2 head Iceberg lettuce, chopped
1/2 package alfalfa sprouts
1/2 cup frozen peas
3/4 cup chick peas
1/2 cup black olives, chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes. chopped
Ingredients for dressing:
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
Salt and pepper to taste