Tuna and tomatoes salad

My light and simple compote salad of tuna, fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and basil: perfect for warm summer nights.

My light and simple compote salad of tuna, fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and thyme: perfect for warm summer nights.

Sometimes I just want to eat a light meal for dinner, especially during summer when I fear I will literally melt if I flick on the stove or oven – or, more often, I get home from work a bit later than usual and don’t feel like cooking. So, what do I do? It used to be that I’d mix up some tuna salad – a simple smattering of chopped scallions, a dollop of mayo, and lots of salt and pepper would do – roll that into a whole-wheat tortilla, and maybe eat a sliced tomato or little bowl of tomato soup on the side. Or I would whip up a quick batch of pancakes (yes, for dinner!), or maybe scramble up some eggs and spinach. In the last few years I’ve taken to throwing together a quick Niçoise salad – a hard-boiled egg, some tuna, diced tomato, kalamata or Niçoise olives, and homemade vinaigrette over mixed greens.

This light dinner is my new take on the salads. It combines two of my favorite foods, tomatoes and tuna, quite nicely, and its simplicity means I can get it from the pantry to my plate in less than ten minutes. When you want something healthy, light, and full of Mediterranean flavors, this is a great dish to throw together.

  • 1 can tuna, chunk white, packed in water
  • 1 plum tomato or several grape/cherry tomatoes, diced and de-pulped if necessary
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes, in oil if you want (I make my own sometimes, with herbs and garlic)
  • spoonful of caper berries, lightly chopped
  • a few sprigs thyme (oregano thyme works well here)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • juice from 1/4 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, preferably kalamata
  • 1+ cups arugula

Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, s&p, thyme, and capers – or alternatively, shake together in a small jar; I frequently use Jamie Oliver’s Flavor Shaker. If using sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, use that olive oil instead of the regular oil. Spread the arugula on the plate, then top with the tuna. Sprinkle both tomatoes over the tuna, then drizzle on the dressing. There’s no real need to toss everything together; you can be lazy and spread the flavors around while you eat, picking up each ingredient for a forkful.

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