If I’m being honest, this is more of a summer dish. It makes me nostalgic for the sunny July days when I enjoyed a sandwich on Bateman Plaza, watching the Institute for Talented Youth kids have a heated rock-paper-scissors tournament on the lawn (this happened literally every day and they never seemed to get tired of it). But even now, in the dead of the Minnesota deep freeze, this tasty recipe is still a big go-to for me for two reasons.
First, it comes together very quickly and easily. The most time-consuming step is to boil a few eggs, which takes about 20 minutes and can be done in advance if you have a bit of foresight. Even without pre-boiled eggs, it’s something that I can easily slap together on nights when I forgot to make dinner plans and don’t want to spend a precious commuter swipe at Café Mac. Owing to this ease, I usually just keep the basic ingredients stocked in my cupboard until I need them. It’s also very easy to store in the fridge for up to a week.
Secondly, it’s been said by famous food philosophers that no two tuna or chicken salads are exactly the same. Even with this general recipe, the adaptability of taste and texture is enormous based on which vegetables you add. It’s a versatile dish, in the sense that it helps you clean out whatever’s taking up space in the fridge. For example, my absolute favorite dish to cook is jambalaya, but what happens when the grocery store sells celery by the pound and you only need half of that to send your taste buds on a trip to the Bayou? You chop up the rest and put in this salad of course!
In addition to celery, I’ve found that diced onions, bell peppers and even carrots work very well to enhance the salad. But the possibilities are limited only by the cook’s imagination! If you discover a great new veggie to throw in, I’d love to hear about it. The choice of protein is also up to you. I prefer chicken to tuna (mainly because it smells better) but both are quite tasty and this decision can be influenced by personal preference or any dietary restrictions.
There are also a couple of different ways to serve this dish once it’s made. I think it’s best served hot, as a grilled sandwich. Imagine grilled cheese with salad inside instead of cheddar. Just fry it in a bit of olive oil for a few minutes per side and you’ve got yourself a simple, tasty main course. Alternatively, if you’re someone who packs lunch, you can made a sandwich ahead of time and take it on the go. Even cold, I think it’s better with toasted bread, so make sure you work somewhere that gives you access to a toaster (thanks, Macalester Admissions office!).
Thank you for reading. I heard there’s some sort of holiday next weekend, so check back next Friday for a luscious, chocolatey treat you can make for your sweetheart. I’ll share it with you, as long as you cite your source in MLA format. As always, Bon Appetit!
Spicy Sriracha Chicken or Tuna Salad
Enough for about 6 to 8 sandwiches
- 2 (5oz.) cans chicken or tuna
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup brown mustard, like dijon or stone-ground
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Sriracha chili sauce
- Diced vegetables of your choice
- Open the chicken/tuna cans and drain liquid. Dump the meat into a
bowl and break up chunks with a fork or your clean hands until it is
- Add other ingredients to bowl and mix well. Use for
sandwiches and store leftovers immediately in the fridge.